John Phelan of MSD Capital on the Economy & Markets ~ market folly

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

John Phelan of MSD Capital on the Economy & Markets

John Phelan runs MSD Capital, the family office of Michael Dell (of DELL computer fame). The firm has grown from $400 million to $10 billion.

He gave a rare interview on CNBC this morning and talked about his experience with legendary dealmaker Richard Rainwater. Rainwater ran the Bass Family Office in Texas and Phelan took a lot of lessons from him and put them into place at MSD.

On the Economy & Markets

Phelan said that, "the micro is reasonably good, it's the macro that's bad. We're fairly optimistic over the 6-8 months and five years out ... it's the in-between that's very hard to call."

The family office managing partner is looking forward when it comes to investments, as far as 8 years out. He likes to look for trends, what they mean, and how to take advantage of them.

In this regard, he referenced an energy analyst's report on how the US could become a net exporter of oil and the potential pipeline implications as one example.

On Working With Michael Dell

Phelan only has one investor to answer to (Michael Dell) and notes that the dynamic is different in that Phelan has full discretion in their investments. He actually wishes Dell was more involved given that he thinks he'd be an astute investor. However, Dell's passion is obviously his company, DELL.

Embedded below is John Phelan's interview (email readers come to the site to view it):

There were a bunch of rare appearances on CNBC this morning, so don't miss:

- Eddie Lampert on risk coming back to markets


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