At Babson there is a clear emphasis on diversity: racial, intellectual, socio-economic, and many others. I never paid too much attention to it and took it for granted; however after working at Woodside for a few weeks now, I see how actively recognizing the diversity can help you leverage it for multiple purposes.
The type of diversity at Woodside was unique. Everyone from the Partners to the Managing Directors to the junior staff came from a different background. If I were to categorize the groups I would split them into industry-experienced, bankers, and floaters. Each group brings a new insight to the bank and the type of deals we work on. Bankers are more experienced at being able to sell to the clients or establish strong relationships between clients and VC’s or potential acquirers. The industry-experienced have a better understanding of the technology and technical IP that is often the concern of any transaction. They are able to convey the complex technology in layman terms to other relevant groups. The floaters are the most interesting because they come with a variety of experiences from other fields or study or even other industries. This group dominates the ‘Special Situations’ group where interesting unique transactions are addressed. Each group plays a significant role in the bank and sometimes cross-collaboration helps expedite the transaction timeline. I am sure there are other benefits of such diversity and I plan to keep my eyes open to see how different groups create a unique dynamic in the firm.