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RESET

After a thrilling career in investment banking and an exhaustive battle with regulatory officials–I decided that i needed a reset to define a new purpose and goal outside of investment banking. With over two decades of pursuing numbers and performance, I wanted to move from the empirical study of numbers beyond the balance sheets. I sought to the understand what drove the value creation by highly successful enterprises that have generated over billions of dollars in value and job creation.

RESET
Shawn Baldwin with Steve Forbes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Shawn Baldwin Images

After a thrilling career in investment banking and an exhaustive battle with regulatory officials–I decided that i needed a reset to define a new purpose and goal outside of investment banking. With over two decades of pursuing numbers and performance, I wanted to move from the empirical study of numbers beyond the balance sheets. I sought to the understand what drove the value creation by highly successful enterprises that have generated over billions of dollars in value and job creation. As the country exit’s the great recession, the need for value creation and jobs are more prevalent than ever

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For years I toiled over numbers, valuation models and securities analysis trying to determine if they were ” cheap or rich”, the sole determining factor when ascertaining whether to buy or sell the stock. This exercise was both challenging and valuable for many years I set out to discover new disciplines and explore new cultures in an earnest process to discover value creation.

Value creation is quite different than valuation (as most people are often want to tell Investment bankers), so I set out in an academic fashion,seeking to find a “model” (a term used far too often by un-creative MBA’s)–I decided to review real life “cases” in the hopes of uncovering patterns and trends not dis-similar to the methods used in securities analysis.

In this pursuit I knew that I would need a robust set of data and examples for credibility. I turned to a model that I knew outlined value creation that had been refined by Steve Forbes. I have been in attendance to a number of the Forbes CEO conferences for many years meeting the owners of private enterprises that created tremendous value all over the world and I was often granted gratis entrance per Steve Forbes for which I have been most grateful (they even gave me the opportunity to write for them and for that I am eternally grateful).

From that standpoint, I began to focus on firms and individuals who were creating value with their respective enterprises. I discovered during this period that there were lots of examples and individuals who achieved substantial value creation. As a Wall Street trained analyst, I decided to ” pick my lane” so that I could determine a specific target.

I decided to focus on billion dollar enterprises, as it was a significant number and a scale which was difficult to obtain. I believed that outlining valuable traits, tactics and skill sets would be valuable as well. Determining the business plans, models would resonate with in the scope and jargon of MBA’s. So I set out to study, meet and outline the tactics of super successful creators of value to chronicle for others to replicate. Since Fast Company is effectively the the ” How to” magazine for business. I decided that this would be the best home for it and I hope that readers find the information and tactics as interesting as I do.

Finally, I believe that this is a time when America needs to lead in value creation of jobs for everyone. It is my most fervent hope that people find the stories inspiring and helpful in their own person road to value creation and empowerment.

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About the author

Shawn D. Baldwin is Chairman of the AIA Group (AIA), an alternative investment and advisory firm based in Chicago.

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