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Teddy Sokoloff

Palo Alto
Teddy Sokoloff

I wanted to join a firm with a global presence.

As someone who pursued international affairs academically, the opportunity to work with management teams and colleagues across the globe was a central element of what attracted me to Advent. This global focus, combined with the firm’s thesis-driven and market-based approach, facilitates a thoughtful environment that I wanted to be a part of when entering the investing world.

Advent has a “we” not “me” culture.

Advent emphasizes collaboration. No single person will ever take credit for an entire project. Even in the most junior roles at the firm, your team members rely on you and trust you to put in the necessary work that can, at bottom, affect change in the trajectory of an investment. From the more traditional financial and KPI analyses to thesis crafting and deal structuring, Advent’s culture helps individuals at all levels to contribute and encourages them to speak their mind. Yet despite the rigor involved in the job, what I love about Advent is that folks don’t take themselves too seriously. We can be ourselves around each other.

When learning curves are steep, learn fast and work hard.

My grandmother had several favorite idioms. Two stuck with me: “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason” and “Be a participant, not a spectator”. Initially, I always default to listening and observing: I admit what I don’t know, no matter how hard it may be to do so. Only after this period of calibration can I synthesize – and even if I fail then, I fail hard and fail fast. It’s important to not be afraid to dive in and get your hands dirty, though building a foundation beforehand is equally important.

Those I look up to prioritize judgement and vision.

In thinking about the investors that I admire and the qualities that made them winners, a few things stand out. Acute awareness of character is one. Look for managers who are good people that you can count on, because at the end of the day, it’s those people who will drive change within the organizations they are a part of. Good investors may rely on their gut: sometimes the investment just has to feel right, regardless of diligence. It may sound cheesy, but you need to think beyond micro problems. The best businesses may have started with a small focus, but they've grown to address larger missions.