Posts Tagged ‘perspective’

Brexit Brouhaha

Friday, November 30th, 2018

You have to laugh when political commentators get so wrapped up in their political bubble, they are prone to making ridiculous statements. The BBC’s political reporter, Laura Kuenssberg, described Brexit, “As the most important decision we have had to make since 1945”. Excuse me, what about the decisions to go to war in the Falklands, Afghanistan twice, Iraq and multiple other situations. Aren’t life and death decisions rather more grave?   

Legacy Trumps Opinions

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Everyone has an opinion about something today (Trump, Brexit, societal changes) and when given a large platform (social or public media), the barrage of people “shouting” about something, is at times deafening, and largely wasted. In death, as I was reminded at a close friend’s funeral yesterday, the only score that counts is what you have positively contributed to the lives of the people around you and beyond (“legacy”).  

The Generalisation Trap

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Don’t you just love it when when you hear statements like “the millennial generation are different, they don’t want what we want.” Excuse me but don’t they want peace, prosperity, rising health and education standards, and a better quality of life? Generalisations are the lazy and intellectually dishonest way to make sense of the world we live in.

The same holds true about different types of ownership. “Ah, private equity ownership confers being a slave to an accountant” or “VC’s want your sole and to eat it”. Yet the PE and VC ecosystem is a very broach church. There are firms and partners (EQT, Sequoia and JZI Capital), whose track record of long-term investment, high levels of engagement with top management and collaborative success is far preferable to trade investors.  Indeed, they might look, speak and act much more like an investment fund.

Different forms of capital: The oft repeated one in today’s reinsurance business “the Pension Funds and the Insurance Linked Securities providers are unproven capital”. Sorry but these folks are mostly highly conservative people, whose investment bets in other asset classes dwarf the minuscule reinsurance sector. Indeed, they have hired many of the very same experts who the traditional reinsurance sector has relied on for smart underwriting decisions.

Doing business in different countries: “Americans are more direct and will not beat about the bush. Brits dance around the tough issues”. Sure, there are US clients, business partners and colleagues in my 25 year career that have those behavioural traits but there are a great many analytic and amiable characters, who in a negotiation or client relationship are highly prone to avoid confrontation and join the list of world champion procrastinators.

My point here is be careful generalising your way into an intellectually dumb corner. Come with hard evidence or strong anecdotal information and carefully apply it to a particular situation.  “Ah the Spanish, it is always mañana”

© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.