This week we chat with Michael Babiarz of Clayton, Dubilier and Rice. Michael is a partner of the firm and been with CD&R since 1990.
The Lead Left: Michael, you’ve been with CD&R for 26 years. Tell us how the firm has evolved?
Michael Babiarz: In many ways, we still operate with the mindset that Martin Dubilier and Joe Rice had in 1978 when they formed CD&R. The firm built itself around a simple premise: blending professional investment judgment with world-class operating skills was, and still is, an intelligent and practical way to buy, improve and sell businesses. CD&R pioneered the operating partner PE model. We’ve differentiated ourselves from other private equity firms through our long track record and a distinctive mix of financial and operating talent. Having operating experts around a business who can step in and provide guidance and leadership if they need to provides downside protection for both our financing sources and for our equity.