Ehren joined Pemba Capital Partners in 2022. Prior to joining Pemba, Ehren spent two years with Allier Capital where he was involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions mandates across the technology, healthcare and industrial sectors. He also has experience working in the Corporate Value Advisory and Restructuring teams within PwC Deals as well as the Corporate Banking division of Bankwest where he focused on debt financing mandates for large corporates and mid-market private equity sponsors.
If you could have dinner with any three people in the world (past or present), who would they be and why?
My first guest would be Warren Buffet. I first learnt about Buffet during university and over the years have read a lot about his career and his company, Berkshire Hathaway. His investment track record is unparalleled and I would love to hear his stories on business and life.
My second guest would be Michael Jordan. I’ve always been fascinated by people who dedicate their life to their craft and give it their all to perform at the highest level. He’s had an amazing life and career both on and off the court.
My third guest would be Max Verstappen. I’m a massive Formula One fan and he’s one of my favourite drivers. He’s also now a two-time world champion!
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
I’ve received a lot of great advice over the years from mentors, colleagues and friends but it would have to be the advice I got from my high school economics teacher that “there is no substitute for hard work”.
If you could only travel back to the same holiday destination for the rest of your life, where would you pick and why?
Although there are still many places on my bucket list to visit, I would say Spain. My wife and I went to Barcelona and Ibiza for our honeymoon and we had an amazing time. The locals are very welcoming, the food is great, and there is loads to see and do. I also loved the relaxed vibe we felt wherever we went.
What 2-3 skills or attributes do you believe are crucial for success in Private Equity?
I believe intellectual curiosity is a critical attribute to succeed as a private equity investor. On any given day, we are looking at investment opportunities across multiple sectors and businesses. Being able to synthesise a vast amount of financial and non-financial information and deep dive into different subject matter to learn why things are the way they are is key to evaluating potential investments.
People skills are also crucial. Private equity is a people based business and we spend a lot of time interacting with founders, management teams, limited partners, advisors and lenders. As getting a deal over the line involves working with these multiple stakeholders, being able to empathise, communicate and collaborate with people is invaluable.
Then of course, knowing your way around a spreadsheet is also important.
What advice could you give to someone finishing University who is looking to make it in the industry?
As private equity investors, our role is to originate, structure and execute great investments in high quality businesses. This is a dynamic, multi-faceted process involving many aspects from speaking with founders, raising capital, working through due diligence, and ultimately working closely with our partner companies to build value and successfully exit the investment. My advice would be to try and get exposure to as many core disciplines as possible, including M&A, strategy, operations, legal and financing. Having rich experiences within these different environments provides great perspective and makes you more well-rounded. It also means you get to work with and learn from a lot of interesting people along the way!
Ehren’s book recommendation:
‘The Mamba Mentality: How I Play’ by Kobe Bryant. It’s a great read regardless of whether you follow basketball or not. He gives a first hand account about his experience in the NBA and his blueprint for how he was able to compete at the highest level. Definitely an inspiring and captivating read that I recommend people add to their bookshelf!