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Comparing Generalists and Specialists

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What are the differences between what generalists and specialty private equity firms have to address when contemplating an expansion such as entering a new market for a business, in Brazil? What is the nexus between macro-economic conditions and the overall techie market?

For example, generalists must prove their value, so they probably have a high need to be on the scene, mixing it up with the locals. A specialist technology firm is known far and wide for what they do and that news can travel quickly in techie companies whether or not they have a local office, right?

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The easiest way to approach answering a question that asks you to clarify the differences between two related professionals is to think about it in terms of a more simple comparison. For example, medicine: you would go to see a generalist for your yearly check-up but if you have serious congestion, pain in your face, feel like your ears are full or ringing, and have gone through 10 boxes of tissues in 3 days, you'd likely go to a specialist, in this case, an Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) doctor. It's because the ENT has more specialized skills that focus on the particular area that is your focus.

This makes it easier to apply the same kind of thinking to the above question. First, what is a "specialty PE firm"? Well, we know that PE firms deal with private, large investments, and usually are very small in terms of number of people employed (versus, for example, the Merchant banking division of an investment bank). And "specialty" means that the firm members are highly skilled in very specific arenas, and do business solely in those areas that they have significant experience, success, and knowledge in. Along with their skills, the market, and investment community, likely knows the firm and it's generally acknowledged that it is "the best" ...

Solution Summary

The question and answer focus on the differences between generalists and specialists (here a specialty PE firm) and what both would need to do to evaluate an international investment opportunity.

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