Students in Hamilton’s Program in New York City recently visited Robert Morris ’76, P’16,’17, founder and managing partner of Olympus Partners, a private equity firm in Stamford, Conn. This semester’s program theme is Global Financial Networks and is directed by Professor of Economics Erol Balkan.
Rob Morris cheerfully welcomed us into his conference room which was littered with miniature souvenirs, representing many of the companies he had the opportunity to work with over the years. This included slag-made coasters. Slag, a waste product of mining ore, was one of many products Morris has been able to get exposure for during his career in private equity. It was fascinating to see how widespread his knowledge was of such a vast array of different products and services.
Morris began his career at General Electric, got his MBA at Dartmouth and became a vice president at GE. He then left to start his own private equity business in 1988.
Morris told us how private equity was relatively new when he started out and how it was quite a struggle getting sponsors to lend him money when he was so young. Rob was eager to share his story in a lighthearted manner and not only welcomed us with a warm heart, but also with warm pizza.
Overall he had a tremendous story of how he started off as a young kid working in a remote and devout Christian town in Michigan and ended up in Stamford, Conn., and starting Olympus partners.