Paul Salem is a Senior Managing Director Emeritus at Providence Equity. Providence is a premier private equity and asset management firm focused on media, communications, education, software and services with $49 billion in asset commitments. Paul joined Providence when it was a $171 million media focused boutique in 1992 and became an integral part of the firm’s growth and success ever since until retiring a year ago. Paul considers himself the luckiest guy in the world, which you can hear more about in a TED talk he delivered a few years ago.
Our conversation covers Paul’s entry to the business, the benefits of specialization, Providence’s nice guy advantage, and the development of the firm over three decades. We then turn to the competitive landscape for deals, value of operating partners, evolution of private equity, advice for allocators in the space, and life after stepping away from the business.