Athena In Action November 29, 2019

Salon Highlights: Basics of Private Market Transactions 

By The Athena Alliance

Athena members learned the basics of private market investing from Barrett Cohn, co-founder and CEO of Scenic Advisement. Scenic invests in the world’s leading private companies and advises the visionaries who build and fund them. Learn our key takeaways from the salon, including how you can begin investing in the private market today. Members can view the full salon recording in the Resource Library.

  • Private companies are staying private longer. There are more funding options available for private companies than ever before. CEOs are asking themselves why they would subject themselves to the public market when they don’t have to in order to receive funding. 
  • Private market investing isn’t going away. Within five years, investments in the private market will be roughly equal to the public market. Within 10 years, private market investments will overtake public in value.
  • Everyday people can invest in the private market. The safest way is to invest in a mutual fund like Blackrock or Fidelity. It’s expensive and dangerous to invest your own money into the private market without an investment manager. 
  • How is private market venture capital different from non-venture capital? “Venture investors are just there for financial gain,” Barrett explained. “You’re one of 60 portfolio companies they have. If you fail, that’s not great for them, but they still have 59 other investments. But there’s a whole new smattering of investors who bring more empathy, subject matter expertise, and strategic value. Those folks are going to be more sought after because they’re a more attractive investor.” As the pool of investors widens, CEOs have an opportunity to find the right partner match who brings long-term value to the company.
  • Talk to other founders to get perspective. Barrett’s biggest piece of advice? Don’t live in an echo chamber. “It’s very lonely as a CEO, so having the ability to speak to others in a similar position is helpful,” he said. “So much of learning how to lead is breaking down your own ideology, patterns, etc. that we bring from our own life. Just like raising children, leading a company exposes all your weaknesses. Both require outside help and a lot of introspection. Self-awareness is critical.”

Athena members gain access to exclusive events where they can learn boardroom best practices, investing principles, lessons for women in leadership, and more. Build your board-savvy and rise through the ranks of leadership by joining Athena.