- Mark Ein is a private investor and entrepreneur who started his career with Goldman Sachs.
- He has closed more than $ 10 billion in deals over the course of his career.
- One shared his story and the leadership principles he lives by with Insider.
Mark Ein has completed over $ 10 billion in business in over two decades and knows a lot about effective leadership.
The entrepreneur and private investor has spent his career turning the traditional private equity model on its head and working on a handful of projects at once to place million dollar bets on companies with long-term growth potential.
Someone who invests in three or four projects at the same time is not leading the companies in which they invest. But he often takes on leadership positions as chairman and develops strategies with management teams to optimize and grow operations.
“It’s a unique model. There aren’t a lot of people who do it, ”Ein told Insider. “But I love it because it gives you the satisfaction of being deeply involved in the things you build.”
One is known to bet early on in mobile telecommunications ahead of the internet boom, invest in proptech, and even anticipate that consumer mindsets will shift from materialism to empirical values. This is reflected in his involvement with companies like Kastle Systems (a proptech company known for innovative private security services) and Lindblad Expeditions (which brings travelers to adventure destinations in partnership with National Geographic).
Starting out as an analyst at Goldman Sachs – a job he called his “Business Bootcamp” – Ein later worked in private equity at The Carlyle Group and later went self-employed as a private investor when he started his original career in 1999 in Fund, Venturehouse Group. In 2007, he expanded with two additional funds, Capitol Investment and Leland Investments, which have since served as his main investment vehicles.
Based on the lessons of his early career and the application of principles that served him well, Ein with innovative intent has developed a successful leadership strategy. The entrepreneur, who trained at Wharton and Harvard Business School, spoke to Insider about the top three ways he’s been successful as a leader, philanthropist, and private investor.
While at Carlyle, Ein realized that he loved working more closely with companies than the typical private equity or venture investor.
“In a typical private equity or venture, you have a large portfolio, you make a lot of investments, you sit on the board, but you have 10 or 15 portfolio companies,” Ein said. “So you can never go deep into things.”
He wanted to turn this model on its head: “What I realized was to roll up my sleeves and help the teams build. Aktiengesellschaft is set up like this. “
By 1999 he had made lucrative bets on the first wave of the Internet boom. So he decided to expand with his own fund and dictate his own strategy. He could invest in companies at any time, and he and his team would only be working on a handful rather than a dozen at a time.
The plan: “We want to be very close partners with the management teams to help them build very special world-class companies,” he said. And it worked.
Stay in sync
He raised capital himself and quickly learned what it is like to work with large pools of investors.
“If you have a big fund and 40 investors, you will never match all 40,” he said. He added that it takes a few to make life miserable.
He learned the sense of alignment, which helped him to sharpen his strategy for the future: He didn’t want to operate primarily with other people’s money. “I don’t want to be overwhelmed by a change in mood,” he said. “If I want to work with other people’s money, I want to work with people I feel connected to.”
Courtesy of Mark Ein
What it boils down to is being in sync with partners, employees and board members as much as possible and sharing common goals in terms of project timeframes, goals and values.
“When you do that, magic happens,” said Ein. “Because if things don’t go as planned, you don’t start to pull people by the seams.”
The additional 20%
Transparency, trust, and thoughtful communication are the most important principles by which one lives, but maintaining an ambitious work ethic is the root of his empire.
His business is his lifestyle, and his typical day goes into the evening hours and often involves projects – from philanthropy to acquiring Washington City Paper in his homeland, DC.
There is a lot of juggling involved, but there is a “continuous improvement” mindset behind it. One demands a high level of commitment from himself and his team, which enables them to give their best and to seek the deepest possible understanding for the upcoming projects.
“My early years at Goldman Sachs taught me how to become a professional,” he said. “You were insane and I worked 18 hours a day for three years and everything had to be perfect. It was a really unique experience that taught me to do things at the very highest level.”
One continued, “We try to have the same pursuit of the very highest level in everything we do. It’s about the details and the difference between being 80% correct or 100% right in general 100% and you push everyone on all fronts to reach the highest possible level. “