1 August 2023


Men make plans so God can have a hearty laugh. That is about the best way I can explain how I un-retired to join the Family Office of the Rothschild family (Five Arrows Principal Investments) to take the helm at Juvare.

Hitting a new country every month, picking up new skills, every evening with Sharmila and the dog at a bar… retired life was everything I wanted. Then came a call from the inimitable Vivek Kumar. As impressed as I was with the opportunity, I set the bar fairly high for myself.

“Vivek, if I can convince myself that it is exciting enough that I will work for free, I will know it is time to un-retire. CEO Pro Bono – now that is a title I can aspire to.”

Over thirty meetings on either side of the Atlantic later, I got convinced. I have some blurred memories of Robert (“Bob”) Watson (my predecessor and another great leader who helped me thru the process) catching Covid after our meeting, chasing Patrick Lane around the Marta station, showing up in my motorcycle clothes to meet the impeccably dressed Patrick Macfarlane, some great scotches with Fraser Handcock and Sacha Oshry in Scotland, Jeff Telford getting stranded in the bar when downtown Roswell shut down around us, Bryan Kaplan making do with some savories for breakfast in the executive club of a Marriott in DC and so on and so forth.

Finally, it came down to
(*) the mission of the company and
(**) how relatable the people I got to meet were. It felt like I can “belong” in this group.

Frankly, in the last two weeks, as I have gotten to know more folks in the company, I get the sense that maybe, I should be paying to do this job!

As exciting as it is for me, for all the rest of the team, I have to believe it is a bit of an anxious time. I hope you will come across some of my teammates soon and when you do, give them your frank opinion of me. It will help them understand me quickly and make our relationship that much more productive.

Just don’t mention my silly jokes. For even after un-retiring… “Dad jokes. That is how … I roll…” 🙂

25 July 2023

CEO Announcement! I am feeling *real* good !!

About 5 years back, I was having a conversation with Hiten Varia – who was my boss for way too many years and then on my Board for a different company Riverside Insights … and when I asked him:

Me: “Hiten, let’s get past what the investors want. That is table stakes. How do I judge that I have created sufficient internal value for my own team?”

Hiten: “Well, I know you do not care about money personally. But have you thought about creating 25 millionaires?”

Me: “You mean, build the company and spread the wealth so as to create….?”

Hiten: “Yes”

That is a conversation that changed a lot of my outlook towards self-goals as a CEO.

I know he is happy – at least, in paper money – where I finished out that job.

Later, I was thinking – what might be another good metric as a great organizational leader?

The one I could come up with – after a lot of thought – was how many of my direct reports got a job as a CEO as the next job? That would prove I was really instrumental in creating great leaders.

To be clear, I am not saying they eventually became a CEO. I am talking about they left the company to be a CEO.

Also, I am not counting folks who start their own companies. Taking no credit away from them… just saying somebody else did not select them to be the CEO.

In my living memory, Matt Tebbe is my first (and so far only) mark of success there. (Somebody, please tell me I am missing somebody else)

Here is the news article. https://cartus.com/en/about-us/press-room/cartus-appoints-matthew-tebbe-as-president-and-chief-executive-officer/

Funny story… Many moons back, I had written a post in Linkedin on effective ways to network. That got Matt to start networking with me purposefully (he and I had worked before and till then, the only networking we had after I left the company was my birthday call)s. That, much later, led to he being interviewed for an opportunity in our company and eventually he became my direct report.

And now a CEO, himself.

Would love you to join me in congratulating Matthew Tebbe on this great opportunity, recognizing the power of networking and as undeserving as I might be, being in the right place and right time to say #1 done in my list of CEOs I have created.

23 February 2021

Have you ever experienced this?

Today Beth Varner and Joseph Claeys from Riverside Insights gave a talk where nearly 4,000 people attended.

I was trying to think thru in my mind – what does 4,000 people mean? I remember attending events in the past in a very successful company where more people would show up to hear folks from the company speak.

But then, I realized something. Riverside Insights is only 250 people strong. That would imply that for every 1 employee, 16 people came to listen to what Beth and Joe had to say about the work they do.

Two of the biggest companies I have worked for – both multi billion dollar companies – had nearly 6,000 people. This would mean attracting 100,000 people to an event. The smallest company I have worked for was a 25 people startup. This would mean attracting 400 people.

Never, ever experienced something like this. Not even close.

Have you?

One of these days I am determined to find out why is that what those 250 employees in Riverside Insights folks do or how Beth and Joe explains what they do – so important to the world.

Till then, I am going to marvel at them!