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A Day in the Life: Portfolio Company Manager

5:45 a.m.: Wake up, quick workout, even-quicker breakfast.

6:30 a.m.: I participate in a conference with a European shareholder. I don’t do a lot of shareholder relations, but they’ll occasionally pull me in if a shareholder has a specific question about a portfolio company’s prospects. They had some concerns about something they read in their local press. I hate the British tabloids.

7:45 a.m.: Ride into work, checking e-mail the whole way.

8:30 a.m.: At work and responding to e-mails. I’ll read them in the car, but I hate typing on a phone. Most of my overnight stuff is status reports anyway, and they don’t need too much help from me.

9:00 a.m.: Conference call with the management team at a portfolio company. This is a weekly thing at most portfolio companies. We go over their numbers and their goals, and see how they’re doing. I make suggestions on improving things or approaches to take. This is a pretty short one. We do a longer monthly one and go out once a quarter for a big sit-down.

10:30 a.m.: I meet with a potential hire. I’m always on the lookout for good turnaround guys.

11:00 a.m.: Car to the airport. I’m heading out to Cleveland for a big quarterly meeting with another portfolio company. I’m on the road maybe twice a month for various things.

1:30-3:30 p.m.: In the air. I’d like to be saying that I’m reading a book or napping, but I’m going over the company’s performance and calling out questions I need to ask.

4:00 p.m.: Car to the company headquarters. Settling in and getting prepared for the rest of the visit.

6:00 p.m.: Dinner in the company boardroom with the executive team. This is sort of the informal meeting before the real meeting the following day with the (private equity) firm’s top brass on the phone. I tend not to ask too many questions here. I want to hear from them how things are going. I’ll pipe up on a few things, but this is their chance to vent at me.

9:00 p.m.: At the hotel and out cold within an hour.


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