There is great romance, history and mythology in how PE firms or hedge funds get christened. Bridgewater, Carlyle, Blackstone, BlackRock, Pershing Square, Cerberus, Appaloosa and Kynikos are a few that come to mind. William Thorndike has named his PE firm after a great river — Housatonic. A graduate of Harvard College and Stanford School of Business, Thorndike set up Housatonic Partners in 1994 after his stint with T Rowe Price and Walker and Co, where he was named to the board of directors. Apart from his professional success in building a billion dollar firm, what really catapulted him to cult status was his book The Outsiders. An idea that started off for Thorndike as a presentation for an annual conference eventually grew into a full-fledged book, which now is a must-read in the investing community. Warren Buffett recommended it in his annual letter to shareholders as “an outstanding book about CEOs who excelled in capital allocation.” From his office at Prudential Tower, Thorndike enjoys a 360° view of Boston and this hawk-eye vision is at play when he scans midsize companies for his firm to invest in. Right now of which he is not finding many.
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