Private Equity Investment Firms ( Role models)


Equity Firms 2017

  1. David Rubenstein: ( Net-worth: $ 2.5 Billion ), Co-CEO and Co-founder at Carlyle Group.
    1. Political Science,  Duke University
    2. Law Degree, University of Chicago
  2. Carl Icahn: ( Net Worth: $ 15.1 Billion),  CEO of Icahn Capital Management.
    1. Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Princeton University
    2. ( Medical School dropout, NYU, Medical School)
    3. Joined the army, and then to Wall Street
  3. Henry Kravis: ( Net Worth: $ 5.0 Billion), CEO of KKR &co ( Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts).
    1. MBA, Columbia Business School
    2. BA in Economics, Claremont College
  4. Stephen Schwarzman: ( Net Worth: $ 12.0 Billion), CEO and chairman of Blackstone Group.
    1. MBA, Harvard University
    2. Interdisciplinary majors, Yale University
  5. Michael Bloomberg: ( Net worth: $ 48.1 Billion ), CEO at Bloomberg.
    1. MBA, Harvard University
    2. Bachelor of Science in Engineering, John Hopkins University
  6. Leon Black: ( Net worth: $ 5.9 Billion ), CEO at Apollo Global Management.
    1. MBA, Harvard University
    2. BA in Philosophy and Arts, Dartmouth College
  7. Aliko Dangote: ( Net Worth: $ 12.0 Billion), Dangote Group.
    1. Business Studies and Administration, Al-Azhar University ( Egypt).
  8. African Billionaires: ( Lots of Nigerians, South Africans, Egyptians, a few Algerians & Moroccans, an Angolan and a Tanzanian).
    1. 25-Africans are billionaires, according to Forbes.
  9. Mohammed Dewji: ( Net Worth: $ 1.2 Billion, CEO at METL Group)
    1. Education: Bachelors in International Business and Finance, Georgetown University.
    2. Tanzania, and East-AFRICA.
  10. Robert Smith (Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners): 2nd richest black American, after Oprah.
    1. Net Worth of $3.0 Billion and about $27.0 Billion under management.
    2. Education:
      1. MBA, Colombia Business School
      2. Bachelors in Chemical Engineering
    3. His Laws of Success
      1. Develop your mind; 2. Trust yourself; 3. Know your self-worth; 4. Act on your intentions; 5. Dream Big; 6. Be committed to your career; 7. Find your drive; 8. Enjoying figuring things out; 9. Perfect your craft; 10. Develop grit.
  11. Kase Lawal ( African-Billionaire and an international businessman).
    1. net worth: $ 3.0 Billion.
  12. Howard Marks ( Chairman and CEO of Oaktree Capital Management ).
    1. Net worth: $ 2.0 Billion.
    2. 40-years of experience in investing.
    3. Bachelors of Arts in Finance from Wharton School of Business, and Masters in Accounting from the University of Chicago.
  13. Didier Champion:  ( Net worth: Soon to be), Unknown as of 26 April 2017.
    1. MBA, with emphasis on international business and Finance
    2. MBA, with Emerging Markets and Finance

As I read about these amazing businessmen who have accumulated lots of wealth during their careers, I am amazed at how successful you can be with your hard-work and determination.  It is true that the majority of these Forbes 400 started in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. However, they all worked hard and got very fortunate in their respective careers as they progressed. Surprisingly, they share lots of similarities with being successful in their careers. Lots of these specialize in leveraged buyouts and private equity.

  1. Education: All of them were educated in their fields. They knew a lot about their ventures before they invested in them through constant learning and past employments.
  2. Diligent and their niche: All of them described that they did not do what everybody was doing. They looked out for what nobody was doing at the time and got really good settling in businesses where they would have a competitive advantage.
  3. Love their work/Enthusiasm: They love what they are and were doing that they were willing to put in lots of more work to be successful.
  4. Being successful takes time: Almost all of them have been in the business for 30-40 years. It takes a good amount of time to make money especially these amount of money.

When asked about the managers that he looks out to hire, CEO Henry Kravis describes what they prefer when hiring:

  1. Smart and intelligent people (not necessary genius, but those who know what they are actually doing).
  2. People with the highest ethical standards: ( Those with integrity, courage, and commitment): The three things he lives by.  very important.
  3. Those who are creative and can stand-up to the CEO: ( are NOT afraid to voice their opinions)
  4. Diligent and are NOT afraid to take tough questions.

As a businessman or entrepreneur ( according to Henry Kravis),

  • You can never use excuses because at the end of the day you have to be accountable for your actions.
  • Always believe in your goals and stick with them: If you cannot trust yourself, who else will.
  • Be honest with yourself and others.
  • Whatever you do, give it your best effort.

My personal homework and takeaways

  1. What is a leveraged-buyout? Every CEO kept mentioning it, but I have no idea what it means. Study and learn about it.
  2. I have a feeling that this is really what I want to do with my life in the long term.  It would be fun to be a venture capitalist and focus on developing countries on the African Continent. Is there a difference between a private equity ( vs venture capital) firm.
  3. If you want to be rich, business is the way to go. You can never be rich while working for someone else. Start working on the roadmap of my career.
    1. May-2017 to June-2020: Learn as much you can about business: finance, venture capitalist, private equity firms.
    2. June-2019 to June-2020: Choose an MBA or business-related programs in the States.
      1. MBA with focus on Corporate Finance/Financial Markets
      2. Masters of Science in Finance on Emerging Markets
      3. Investment Strategy for Private Equity/( Mergers and Acquisitions)
    3. Finish business school by May 2022 and work for others from 2022 to 2030 for 8-years. At 40-years, start a private ( venture capital) firm in emerging markets ( preferably on the African Continent). Invest in the ( African ) Energy Sector.
  4. In the future, it is going to be interesting to see the technological impacts on education, health care, financial services, and Law & Government. The impact of companies such as Uber vs Lyft, and Airbnb.

Private Equity 2017

Doing Business in Africa

  1. African youngest and promising entrepreneurs: ( By Forbes Africa).
  2. Raising money on the African Continent: ( Linkedin).
  3. Successful people in African Business: ( By Forbes Africa).
  4. African top 40 richest people ( As of 2011, Forbes Africa).
    1. More updated lists of Billionaires in Africa.
    2. If you want to become rich, you have to go into business. Check out top 50 richest people on the continent. They are all in business. You never going to be RICH working for someone else. NEVER.



Published by Didier Champion

Didier Champion is a Rwandan blogger. I love telling stories and writing about Rwanda. I was born and raised in Rwanda. I speak 3 languages. Kinyarwanda, English, and French. From Rwanda (my home country), to the United States (my adoptive country), and Europe, where I am currently working, I take the Rwandan and African pride with me. I am a Rwandan Pan-Africanist who love sharing African stories. Although I am a trained Energy Engineer, my passion is in business and entrepreneurship. My topics about Africa focuses on an aid-free Africa relying on trade, tourism, innovation, and technology. I dream about a self-reliant Africa whose financial freedom is unshakeable. An Africa that consumes what It produces & produces what it consumes. I love traveling across Africa, exploring the beauty of our continent and learning about how to make it in Africa. I am always encouraged by the African Youth with same dreams and aspirations. For more, follow me on twitter and follow this blog to stay in touch. Thank you Didier

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