Often asked, seldom answered

Who made those amazing cartoons?

You probably refer to the cartoons of Alice on the website (and the funny photo montage). Yes, they are great, aren’t they?

The artist is called Neroli Austin; a multi-talented Kiwi. She is also behind much of the best content in the book. Both the book and this website owe a lot to her.

Would you like to give a talk at an event or participate to a panel at a conference?

First of all, and very sincerely, thank you very much for thinking of me. Each invitation I receive has a very positive effect on my mood, I genuinely feel honoured. But I have many commitments and need to be practical, otherwise I would really go from one talk to the other (as I receive about one invitation a week). Given this, I turn down most invitations to participate to a panel and mainly accept invitations to deliver a keynote. As I have nothing to sell (except a low-cost book), and need to turn down some other assignments to give a talk, I ask for a speaker fee.

Can I meet you?

Would be lovely, but if I meet all the people who ask, it would be a full time thing. If you have something real to share, then reach out. But, concretely, easiest way to meet and have a chat is on a bike. If you can roll at a decent speed, then let’s set some roads on fire, and brainstorm on wheels.

Can I ask you about career advice?

Look at my own career path. What do you reckon? If I knew anything about careers, I wouldn’t be writing this FAQ section, would I?

Do you have an assistant?


I am thinking about doing a PhD

Oh dear! That’s why I wrote this. Reading this note is also helpful if you are already part of a PhD programme and would like to work with me.

Do you have conflicts of interests?

Yes, my interests conflict all the time. I earn some money outside of my full-time academic employment (we have 30 days of private activities allowed by the university). I receive money from private equity conference organizers who invite me to give a talk (which should bias me towards being positive about the industry because the more pleasing you are to your audience, the more you are invited, and the more money you can ask; that said, I do not receive too many of these invitations these days). My second largest income stream from secondary activities is government related bodies asking for a report or a comment on a private equity related matter (usually in connection to the pension funds in their state/country). Next is short assignments by various companies — mostly asset owners — to educate / brainstorm / discuss issues related to asset allocation in general and to private equity in particular. I have been hired by law firms to advice on some legal cases related to private equity. See the ‘comps’ tab for details.

Where are you from? Your name looks Greek?

I have nothing to do with the Greeks. Or at least I do not think so. Look, they were in the south of France something like 3000 years ago. God knows what happened… But officially my name is a variation of Philippe – just as Philippon, Phalip, Falipou, Philippou, etc.