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Working Capital Conversations


Working Capital Conversations

Working Capital Conversations


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Working Capital Conversations




Daniel Feder on the State of Endowment Investing

It goes without saying – nearly every sector globally has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. But for few sectors are those effects more evident than universities. From admissions to in-person classes to college sports, there’s hardly an element of the experience that hasn’t had to pivot quickly. So what about endowment investing? As universities face untold economic uncertainties and challenges, what impact has it had on the approach endowments take. Put differently, have the...


Dr. Alexandria White: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion -- and Business

While the terms diversity, equity and inclusion are not new, the movement – across society, institutions, and businesses – gained extraordinary momentum this year. Obviously, this push for increased understanding, awareness, and action was greatly inspired by George Floyd’s death. It has grown from there. But what, exactly, does diversity, equity, and inclusion – often called D.E.I. – actually look like? What tangible steps can business leaders take to integrate the principles not as...


Dr. Josh Lerner — Future of Diversity and Inclusion in Private Equity

A straightforward question: as we consider the future of diversity and inclusion in private equity, can the industry meet the challenge? To seek answers, the Private Capital Project at the Harvard Business School and the Private Capital Research Institute recently hosted a webinar with a group of limited and general partners. What did they find? I spoke with one of the conference leaders, Dr. Josh Lerner, the Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School. He co-directs...


Joe Coughlin: The Science & Art of Managing Business Risk Today

Businesses, of course, face risk every day, whether from supply chain disruption, calamity, or as we’ve seen from a series of hurricanes of the last years, Mother Nature. But most of these risks have a foreseeable ending – after all, at some point the hurricane passes. But among the many business risks during this Covid age are the unknown risks – how long will the pandemic endure? Which geographies will be hit hardest? What might recovery look like? And while the insurance business can...


George Nguyen: What Does Gen Z Want from Brands?

It’s the age old question nearly every business brand would like to know: What do young people care about? Do they apply their beliefs and goals to their commercial choices? Do brands matter to them? Put differently, from a brand’s perspective, do youth care about who you are — or what you do and how you do it? What are the forces influencing their brand choices? And when leading global and domestic brands want to know the answer to these questions, George Nguyen is one person they...


Vindi Banga: Business Outlook in a Changing World

Once again this year, thousands of the world’s leading economic and business players met in the little Swiss ski town of Davos. And once again, the key topics and discussions had little to do with winter sports. The reasons are obvious. There’s a lot going on in the world today and plenty of questions: To find out, we spoke with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice London-based Operating Partner Vindi Banga. Some background on Vindi’s global business and policy efforts: Banga spent 33 years at...


Anindya Ghose: China, US, & Future of AI

As the world becomes a messier place, and as the U.S. Great Power Competition with China continues to ramp up, this battle will be fought on many fronts – few if any on an actual battlefield.Instead, these superpowers’ fight for supremacy focuses on different dimensions of power and influence – in particular, areas like business and technology, including the next generation of Artificial Intelligence applications.So who’s winning? Where does China stand – and what should other countries and...


Alexandre Mars, How Epic Foundation Innovates Philanthropy

As with any startup opportunity, when the serial and successful tech entrepreneur Alexander Mars decided in 2013 to tackle philanthropy, he had to identify the market gap. Turns out, he already knew it: The disconnect, as he describes, between how much we want to give and how much we actually give.The challenge, of course: How to bridge the gap. Mars’ answer: Just like a business.He gathered specialists in international development, social impact, open innovation, design thinking and...


Diane Flynn: How Companies Should Respond to Changing Workplace Demographics

From gender-based pay gaps to leadership roles, advancement opportunity to corporate culture, the treatment of women in the workplace – and how to enhance growth opportunities for women executives – is and has been under continual focus.But now this focus is frequently combined with a new, and growing trend: The aging and multigenerational workforce. The numbers may surprise you: The number one growing demographic in today’s workplace is women over 55. In fact, the number of people over 55...


Andrew McAfee: Why Capitalism & Technology Will Save the Planet

If one question has driven mankind’s quest for innovation, it very well might be this: How can we get more from less?For most of our time on this planet, the answer was simple: We couldn’t. As my guest Andrew McAfee points out, for just about all of human history – particularly the Industrial Era – our prosperity has been tightly coupled to our ability to take resources from the earth. We got more from more.That tradeoff yielded incredible positive contributions in nearly every field:...


Isaac Stone Fish: Where do U.S.-China relations go next?

October 1st marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China – the name given by Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong in 1949. To understate the reality, a lot has happened in China over the last 70 years. The fact is, a lot has happened in China over the last 70 days – much of it unexpected, confusing, and on-going – politically and economically. Politically, of course, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong capture global attention and concern. But so, too,...


Roger McNamee: 'Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe’

What happened to Facebook?Particularly in the post-2016 political campaign, the realities of data, personas and manipulation have come out into the open, from the front pages to Congressional hearings. As policymakers consider regulating companies like Facebook and Google around issues ranging from speech to monopolies, companies and consumers are thinking in new ways about the business of data privacy.The Facebook story, of course, is instructive.Among other areas, it’s a story about...


Adam Heltzer, Partners Group -- ESG, Sustainability & Investing

For a long time in business and private equity, corporate sustainability – also known as ESG, the initials for Environmental, social and governance – was a rear guard part of the business that took front stage only when PR required.That time has most definitely passed.Today, ESG is not only front stage, but it’s often fully integrated into the deal making process – a central part of the business due diligence and on-going operations – as well as a key factor for LPs as they decide where to...


Robert Seamans: AI and the Economy

If you thought the battle between machines and jobs – the dislocation of labor and society resulting from digitization or automation – has been one-sided so far, just wait. The next wave of attack is well underway, and it’s called AI. Artificial Intelligence, most simply, refers to computers that perform tasks that normally require human intelligence – things like visual perception, speech recognition, even decision-making. Earlier this year the management consulting firm McKinsey famously...


Raghuram Rajan: The Economic Consequences of Globalization

Raghuram Rajan has an unparalleled view into the social and economic consequences of globalization and their ultimate effect on our politics. Rajan’s background is extraordinary: He has served as Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund and Head of India’s Central Bank. He’s written several books, including one that won the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010. Today he is the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the...


Ron Williams: Learning to Lead

Ron Williams knows leadership. He was, after all, Chairman and CEO of Aetna. When he joined Aetna in 2001, its loss from continuing operations was $292 million, with earnings per share loss of $0.46. By the time Williams left in 2011, the company’s full-year operating earnings were $2 billion, with operating earnings per share of $5.17. Beyond the numbers, though, During Williams’ tenure, Aetna was named FORTUNE's most admired company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category...


Joseph Stiglitz: Is Capitalism Working?

About four years ago, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz was attending his 55th high school reunion in Gary, IN, when he heard a story that made him stand up straight. Then he heard another. And another. These classmates’ stories – about themselves and their families – brought to life the statistics Stiglitz had been seeing in his economic charts: Lost jobs, poor access to health care, shorter life spans, crumbling infrastructure, lost opportunity, waning hope. The numbers hadn’t...


Chris Witkowsky on the last decade of private equity investing.

As anyone with even a passing interest knows, over the last decade, private equity has had quite a run: Deal multiples have hit record highs; while deal count declined, investment value grew again last year; and so-called “dry powder” – capital sitting ready to invest – hit a record high of $2 trillion in December 2018 across all fund types. And yet, as always, questions remain: Few people follow private equity – or have more sources and resources in the industry – than Chris Witkowsky,...


End Medical Debt: Curing America's $1 Trillion Unpayable Healthcare Debt

Quick business and health question: How much medical debt exists in this country? Keep in mind, the U.S. is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In fact, the U.S. spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country. Well, the amount according to RIP Medical Debt will blow your mind: $1 Trillion. What can be done about it? That's the subject of this conversation and a new book, End Medical Debt: Curing America's $1 Trillion Unpayable Healthcare Debt. The book is an...


Jonathan Wilk: Who Pays for Health Care?

We know that the health care system can be confusing – never mind the actual medical care. It also is costly. And from changing coverage to high deductibles to co-pays and more, the question remains: Who pays? Jonathan Wiik has an answer. Jonathan is a Principal in Healthcare Strategy at TransUnion. He’s also the author of “Healthcare Revolution: The Patient Is the New Payer.” Wiik has spent much of his career examining the health care payments transformation. From his experience and...