The Evolution of MSD

Gregg Lemkau





Episode: 291
January 9, 2023

Episode Description:

Gregg Lemkau is the CEO of MSD Partners, the investment firm with roots as Michael Dell's family office. MSD was formed in 1998 to manage $400 million of Michael's capital. In the ensuing twenty-five years, that initial $400 million has grown to north of $20 billion. Gregg joined MSD two years ago after a twenty-eight-year career at Goldman Sachs, where he rose to Co-Head of Investment Banking, served on the Firm's Management Committee, and was widely considered one of a few candidates to succeed David Solomon as Goldman's CEO.

Our conversation covers Gregg's career path at Goldman and lessons learned, including entertaining stories about his work with such fascinating entrepreneurs as Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick. We discuss his decision to join MSD, the firm's history, objectives, competitive advantages, and investment capabilities. We then turn to MSD's recently announced merger with BDT Partners, including the rationale, process, and integration of the businesses. We close with a look into the future of the transformed organization.

Show Notes
4:29 Career path at Goldman Sachs
11:41 Investment banking in London
13:09 Working with Elon Musk
16:41 Role in “The Battle for Uber”
18:57 Navigating politics in the workplace
20:52 Learning from David Solomon
22:08 Leaving Goldman Sachs
25:08 10 reasons to join MSD
25:49 History of MSD
26:53 An investment DNA at MSD
28:48 A world-class investment organization
30:06 Compensation at a family office
31:24 Competitive advantage
34:19 Tech expertise and strategy
36:16 Investing in public markets
38:30 Merger with BDT
41:58 Investing to support withdrawal of capital
43:07 Being a co-CEO again
47:49 Merging in a remote environment
50:45 A 5-year business plan
52:08 Closing questions

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