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The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything



The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything

Jason Kelly

ISBN: 978-1-118-20546-4 September 2012 256 Pages


Inside the Trillion Dollar Industry That Owns Everything

What do Dunkin' Donuts, J. Crew, Toys "R" Us, and Burger King have in common? They are all currently or just recently were owned, operated, and controlled by private equity firms. The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything takes the reader behind the scenes of these firms: their famous billionaire founders, the overlapping stories of their creation and evolution, and the outsized ambitions that led a group of clever bankers from small shops operating in a corner of Wall Street into powerhouse titans of capital. This is the story of the money and the men who handle it.

Go inside the private worlds of founders Henry Kravis, Steve Schwarzman, David Bonderman, and more in The New Tycoons, and discover how these men have transformed the industry and built the some of the most powerful and most secretive houses of money in the world.

  • With numerous private equity firms going public for the first time, learn how these firms operate, where their money comes from and where it goes, and how every day millions of customers, employees, and retirees play a role in that complex tangle of money
  • Author Jason Kelly tells the story of how thirty some years ago a group of colleagues with $120,000 of their own savings founded what would become one of the largest private equity shops in the world, completing the biggest buyout the world has ever seen, and making them all billionaires in the process
  • Presents a never-before-seen look inside a secretive and powerful world on the verge of complete transformation as the industry and its leaders gain public profiles, scrutiny, and political positions

Analyzing the founders and the firms at a crucial moment, when they've elevated themselves beyond their already lofty ambitions into the world of public opinion and valuation, New Tycoons looks at one of the most important, yet least examined, trillion-dollar corners of the global economy and what it portends for these new tycoons.

A Visual Tour of Private Equity xi

Deciphering Private Equity xv

Prologue xix

Chapter 1 Find the Money 1

Chapter 2 All the Money in the World 19

Chapter 3 The L Word 43

Chapter 4 You Bought a Toilet Seat? “When Was the Last Time” 55

Chapter 5 Modern Art 73

Chapter 6 Put on Your Boots 95

Chapter 7 Aura of Cool 111

Chapter 8 Hundreds and Billions 123

Chapter 9 Take This Exit 141

Chapter 10 The Taxman Cometh 155

Chapter 11 It’s a Steve, Steve, Steve World 165

Chapter 12 Not-So-Private Equity 187

Afterword 199

Notes 203

Acknowledgments 211

About the Author 215

Index 217

Subtitled Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry that owns Everything, Kelly tries to demystify the complex world of private equity through telling the stories of the leading characters and key firms in the industry.

A Bloomberg news reporter, Kelly is familiar with his subject and he traces the mushrooming of this industry from a relatively small niche area of financial service into a globally powerful phenomenon.

The book has a timely edge given the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney, a former chief executive of Bain Capital, and is certainly well researched.

Kelly notes that he is trained to look for surprise and that as he researched the book, the omnipresence of the industry surprised even him. So much is owned by the industry, and the appetite to run the numbers on businesses that are not, appears to be relentless.

Kelly does his best to make the complex simple with glossaries and charts; it is a challenging read nonetheless.

Although interesting for the general reader, the book will be of most interest to those who work in the global financial services industry and who can relate readily to the firms under consideration here. (, November 2012)

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