Humbling of the Buyout Titans

Okay, so no one’s going to argue that it’s not still great to be a senior partner at a mega-buyout firm, even with all the government meddling, angry or indifferent LPs, high purchase price multiples and limited exit opportunities.

After all, the worst case scenarios that were kicked around just a few short years ago – scary ones like chain reaction portfolio company implosions, lenders not willing to be seen in public with you let alone return your calls, or investors abandoning the asset class completely – never really came to pass. And you’ve still got more money than anyone without an Ivy League MBA would know what to do with, are on the guest list for all the right parties and charitable boards, and (most of) you haven’t been deposed in front of Congress.

Still, it does seem like a bit of the bloom has come off the rose. Rich in today’s mega-buyout circles isn’t quite what rich was a few short years ago (even the lawyers seem to be feeling the pinch). The sparkling reputations of the top firms have started to get just a wee bit tarnished. The little guys you used to laugh at not too long ago are walking a whole lot taller. You just don’t feel as invincible as maybe you did a couple years back.

It’s enough to make anyone feel just a wee bit hostile.

For a digest of today’s top dealmaking news, please check out theĀ DealMaker Digest.

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