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Stewardship’s quiet hero

Are there difficult environments where aggression and bullying are the only way to get results? This question was raised in the Financial Times this week following the downfall of Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York. The investment world is not always noted for its patience. Instead, empire building; cynicism; short-termism; opportunism; sharp elbows; testosterone and a ‘greed is good’ mentality are often assumed to be the norm, especially in a period full of takeover activity. Yet, before we pass judgement let’s remember that the nastiest are often the noisiest, while the achievements of the quietest too often go unappreciated. Simon Fraser, who has just died after a short illness, was an understated hero and I have special reasons to celebrate his impact. It was in the early 1990s that I first became curious about the investment world. I had spent the 80s working in a manufacturing company whose ownership veered from subsidiary of a listed UK household name through private equity-backed management buyout through London flotation to takeover by global giant. Read the rest here.

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