First Round – February 2006

Yet another reason to be envious of Tom Perkins of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – he's published a pot-boiler.

The co-founder of legendary Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tom Perkins, has written and published what he terms a work of fiction ?taken from real life? called Sex and the Single Zillionaire.

Perkins, who in real life turned down the opportunity to star in a reality TV show that was to pair him with a bevy of young beauties, has molded a plot around just such a show causing havoc and adventure in the life of a senior ? and single – investment titan.

A speed-read through the 285-page book reveals that Perkins, 73, has delivered not so much a wealth of pornography as the pornography of wealth. Readers hoping to learn about the libidinous activities of single, senior citizen venture capitalists may come away disappointed. But when it comes to the accoutrements of the ultra-high-net-worth crowd, the book packs a wallop.

The main character, Steven, has an ?obsession? with collecting contemporary art, ?Van de Velde, Caillebotte, and so forth?. His Manhattan doorman asks if he will be needing the Bentley tonight. He discusses with friends which private club has the best chef. He delineates the difference between a Lear and a G-5.

Perkins was pressed into this creative endeavor by his ex-wife, the popular novelist Danielle Steel. He gets credit for penning the novel without a ghost writer. And to be fair, the plot includes a touching back story involving the passing of the main character’s beloved wife.

But where’s the sex? Page 266: Steven is given some ?Vitamin V? by sexy Eve and the two engage in a passionate merger. Page 153: two nude vixens and a leather harness confound a peeping Steve.

Perhaps the most titillating scene, however, happens near the beginning on page 8. An excerpt:

Pierce Crowninsheild, one of the senior partners, strode in. Pierce was all business. ?Morning, Steve. We finished the new Delta Fund last night at exactly three billion dollars. It has a total of ninety-three investors, including a few institutions that are new to us. We buttoned it up just before midnight, right on schedule??

Finally, every GP’s fantasy put to prose.

?I don’t worry that we won’t be able to sell the highquality assets we have in our portfolio. That’s not what’s going to affect returns. Having an undifferentiated strategy, that’s what’s going to affect returns.?

Damon Buffini of Permira, Privately Speaking, p. 36

?Since we’ve adopted the pan-European approach and raised larger funds, our returns have started to go up.?

Permira’s Damon Buffini in this month’s Privately Speaking (see p. 36).

?The really smart money is leery of getting into hedge funds now.?

John Griswold, executive director of the Commonfund Institute, quoted in Business Week.

“Everyone has a clear understanding that George and I will continue to oversee the firm with the benefit of critical input from KKR senior executives.”

KKR co-founder Henry Kravis, quoted in The Australian. KKR is scouting for deals in Australia.

?The leading private equity firms are handing out first year compensation packages of more than $400,000. The banks and consulting firms are on a feeding frenzy. Anyone with Chinese on their CV is in hot demand. Next to private equity, the most coveted sector appears to be real estate.?

Philip Delves Broughton, a student at Harvard Business School, writing in the Financial Times.