Professor Derek Jones’ Comparative Economic Systems class held a special additional session on Oct. 20 to hear from Robert Morris ’76, P’16,’17, founder and managing partner of the private equity firm Olympus Partners and a Hamilton trustee. Morris spoke about his career path and private equity around the world then finished the talk with Q&A.
An economics major at Hamilton, Morris traveled through Europe after graduation before transitioning to a role at GE. After some time there, he got his MBA at Dartmouth and returned to GE where he rose up the corporate ladder. Morris left to enter private equity in 1988 and founded Olympus Partners, which has grown to become a $5.5 billion assets under management firm.
Morris offered many humorous and informative anecdotes about the deals his firm had worked on with assets around the globe. To connect to course material about different economic systems, he offered specific examples of how the deal process changed across various countries. Areas of particular emphasis included the role of legal systems and cultural differences in shaping businesses.
In the Q&A session Morris answered questions on various subjects. Topics covered included the future of employment with artificial intelligence, how a private equity firm picks its investments, and competition between Uber and Lyft. Morris’s humor and insight throughout made the talk a delight.