As a vibrant investment management practice, HMI owes its heritage to the history of the Hellman family in the money management sector and the rise of Hellman & Friedman LLC (H&F) as a best-in-class leader in private equity. Mick’s father and former business partner, Warren, was a compelling and dynamic leader who launched a number of successful investment management practices and established values that continue to inspire the way we do business at HMI today. Known as a devoted family man, a wise investor, an endurance athlete and a lover of banjos and American roots music, Warren’s value system emphasized the virtues of fairness, tenacity and humility. Warren was also known for his pithy aphorisms:
“It’s easy to be a good partner in good times. Be a good partner in bad times.”
“Have skin in the game. Nothing empowers and motivates people like a share in the outcome.”
“Surround yourself with smart people and listen intently to their views—they are often smarter and better investors than you. Reward them accordingly.”
And, of course:
“Money is like manure. If you hold onto it, it stinks. But if you spread it around, good things grow.”
Important elements from these influences include the power of a strongly defined investment philosophy, a singular focus, a consistent and robust process and a culture of earnest endeavor. At the heart of the HMI belief system is the idea that a team embracing these ingredients and having shared interests, deep knowledge and a collegial but direct mode of engagement will produce consistently exceptional results over time.