Saturday, October 17

Nightline And Secondary

Ok, let's see- I catch up on my weblog from London having not written the past several days.  Sorry parents and in-laws.  I see Christian Tuesday for dinner at our favorite Delfina on San Francisco's 18th Street, where we go every time. Christian a regular and friends with .. everybody - he treats our waiters like gold, offering them wine from the two excellent bottles we bring. They chat him up and it is all good. Of course he over-tips generously and I would expect nothing less.  Of special significance this evening is Michelle, his fiancé, so we have extra reason to celebrate which we do by ordering the menu.  All of it.   Christian met Michelle in Washington D.C. and she now moves to San Francisco so they are together.  Wedding plans unclear but I imagine California somwhere and sometime.  After dinner, we view "Mad Men" (I sneak several episodes from Season Three, unfair to Sonnet I know) and watch the replay of England's loss to Ukraine.  Since we have qualified for South Africa next summer, it is a meaningless game - if there were such a thing.  

From Christian's penthouse, I head to the Four Seasons and Industry Ventures' Annual General Meeting, which is well attended with plenty of enthusiasm, as there should be.  The partnership buying venture assets via the "secondary market" and since no liquidity in the system today, founder Hans and his team have plenty of deals to chose from - a pipeline over $2 billion on a fund of $250MM.  The strategy buys older portfolios with assets - venture-backed businesses - well into their J-curve. This compares to younger partnerships where the unfunded element hidden.  There are benefits to both BTW.  I-V's investments concentrate around the known 'winners' and since, as we all know, the venture business driven by a few successful lottery tickets, the more visibility the better.  Hans likes to say he is"the plumber of Silicon Valley": he  knows most of the skuttle which outsiders simply cannot access.  Insider's gossip, after all, influences a decision and the more information the manager owns, the better.  This doubly true in the valley since the industry so inefficient.   

Hans and I have breakfast the next morning at the Mandarin Oriental and he is one of a few guys I admire truly.  Hans a self-made dude and I wish for his prosperity, which will carry me and us along with it. 

Here is another shot of the Bay Bridge at sunrise.  Pound for pound, this the best city in America.