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Stephen Murray Had What It Takes

In the high stress world of being a private equity investor, there is a lot to consider and a lot to ponder. It is clearly not for everyone. Certain people have the makeup for it and certain people do not. That is not to diminish what others are capable of, but it is like someone trying out for a football team and they have never played a sport before in their life.

Either it is in the person or it is not. It was definitely in Stephen Murray’s makeup. In fact, it was a thrill for him to be put in charge of high profile decisions and have to handle them.

He took it as a compliment that he was entrusted with these sorts of decisions. They would not give this job to just anyone and they would not hand it out to just anyone. Someone needs to have the mental makeup to do it. When someone is the president and chief executive officer of CCMP Capital, they have a lot of transactions and a lot of choices they have to make. Sometimes they have to pull the trigger and make the tough call. That choice can either be acting quickly or not acting at all.

For some, that is too much pressure and they crumble under the pressure. They don’t want it on their plate and they don’t want to be up all night worrying about it. When it came to Stephen Murray, he slept well every night because he researched every decision and every outcome.

He took it seriously but he didn’t overanalyze it. He knew that was the worst thing that someone could do. As soon as someone does that, they are setting themselves up for failure. Stephen Murray also consulted with his team and valued their input. Perhaps there was something he was missing and they were able to see it.

Nine times out of ten, Stephen Murray was right. On the rare occasion he was wrong about something, which was almost never, he learned from that experience and never made the same mistake again. Men like Stephen Murray are built for this and have all of the right tools at their disposal to be successful.

That is why so many people are saddened by his death. They know he will not be someone that can be replaced without any issues or any problems. He was one of a kind.

Learn more about Stephen Murray CCMP Capital: http://blogs.wsj.com/privateequity/2015/03/13/former-ccmp-ceo-stephen-murray-dies-at-52/

The List of Alma Mater’s for America’s Wealthiest Produces an Interesting Result

If your goal in life is to be a billionaire, choosing a college just became much easier. Forbes has compiled a list of the alma maters of America’s 406 wealthiest individuals—and the most common answer is a shocker.

Topping the list is the University of Pennsylvania, which produced 21 individuals. PayPal cofounder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk ran a nightclub in his home to help pay for his Ivy League undergraduate degrees in economics and physics.

Another famous (or infamous) graduate of the Philadelphia school is Donald Trump.

Tied for second with 14 apiece were Harvard and Yale. At 32 years old, Harvard graduate and Airbnb cofounder Nathan Blecharczyk is one of the youngest members of the club.

Yale can thank Harvard for rejecting the application of its most prominent member: Blackstone Group cofounder Stephen Schwarzman.

The highest-ranking public school is the University of Michigan. Of the six individuals who once called Ann Arbor home, the most renowned is Google cofounder Larry Page.

The other three public schools to make the list were Michigan State, UCLA, and California Berkeley.

The most interesting statistic is the number of individuals who never earned a bachelor’s degree. Of the 406 people, 108 did not graduate from college.

Some of the individuals without degrees simply dropped out to pursue their passion; others never attended college at all. The most famous of the dropouts is the world’s richest man, Bill Gates. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also counts himself amongst those who chose not to finish school.

Dole Foods CEO David Murdock certainly has the most interesting story of the group. Mr. Murdock never attended college and was homeless after he returned from World War II. Through the help of a good Samaritan, he was able to secure a loan and slowly build his billion dollar empire.