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Revealed: Industry experts' summer reads

We asked readers to guess which books top private fund insiders have at the top of their summer reading lists this year. How many did you get right?

We asked a handful of the industry’s most influential insiders – lobbyists, academics, chief executives, legal eagles – which books they have at the top of their summer reading lists this year.

We then asked readers to match the books to the person. How many did you get right?

Here are their answers:

1. Bela Szigethy, co-chief executive, Riverside

Szigethy, who founded The Riverside Company alongside Stewart Kohl in 1988, is reading The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.

“This Pulitzer Prize winner is an incredibly well written and a compelling novel about North Korea,” he told PEI.

Read The Guardian’s review of this book here

2. Denise Voss, chairman, Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry

Voss, who has worked in the financial industry in Luxembourg since 1990 and is also the conducting officer of Franklin Templeton Investments, is reading David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell.

Read The Scholarly Kitchen’s review of this book here

3. Josh Lerner, professor, Harvard Business School

Lerner, one of the highest-profile academic experts on private equity, is reading Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness by Peter Matthiessen.

“Getting in the mood before my visit to some of the refuges of the American Bird Conservancy in Ecuador next month!” he told pfm.

 Read The New York Times’s review of this book here

4. Kate Ashton, partner, Debevoise

Ashton, a leading corporate lawyer at Debevoise who has been working with private equity funds for 31 years, is reading Aeneid Book VI by Seamus Heaney.

“It’s about team leadership, duty, endurance, resilience, building for the future and a bit of magical luck – perfect for private equity!” she told pfm.

Read The Wall Street Journal’s review of this book here

5. Kate Hodson, partner, Ogier

Hodson joined Ogier’s funds practice in Hong Kong several years ago. She is currently reading Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick.

“Demick provides a rare insight into this dictatorial nation. In our global modern world it really is incredulous that a country could have existed for so many decades in such isolation. The book is a compelling read, a real life Orwellian 1984,” she told pfm.

Read The Guardian’s review of this book here

6. Kate Simpson, partner, Proskauer

Simpson, who has spent nearly 10 years working with private equity funds, is reading Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

“I received it as a gift for my birthday as it won the Booker Prize in the year I was born,” she told pfm.

Read an Amazon customer’s review of this book here

7. Michael Collins, incoming chief executive, Invest Europe

Collins, the soon-to-be chief executive of the industry group when Dörte Höppner leaves the role in October, is reading Roy Jenkins by John Campbell.

Read Prospect’s review of this book here


8. Mike Byrne, chair of the Jersey Funds Association and partner at PwC Channel Islands

Byrne, the newly appointed chair of the Jersey association, is reading The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz.

“Overall I think it's been a really good read and great to reconnect with the characters, albeit that it falls a little short of the quality of the originals.”

Read The Guardian’s review of this book here

9. Mike Sommers, president and chief executive officer, American Investment Council

Sommers, who joined the AIC this year following two decades at the US House of Representatives and the White House, is reading The Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin.

Read what The Boston Review thought of this book here

10. Réal Desrochers, managing investment director, CalPERS Private Equity

Desrochers, who leads private equity investment at the pension fund, is reading La folie des banques centrales by Patrick Artuis.

Read Les Echos review of this book here

11. Robert Rice, former SEC chief counsel, partner at Clifford Chance

Rice, a newly appointed litigation and dispute resolution lawyer at Clifford Chance and previous chief counsel to SEC chair Mary Jo Rice, is reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

Read The New York Time's review of this book here

12. Tim Hames, director general, BVCA

Hames, who has lead the industry association for three years after a successful journalism career at The Times, is reading Picasso: The Monograph 1881-1973, Brigitte Leal, Christine Piot and Marie-Laure Bernadac.

Read an Amazon customer’s review of this book here