»The 100-hour Workweek«
by Martin Kanatschnig
Early summer 2008. My first business trip to New York. Business Class. Okay, it was an upgrade, but still. I had just made myself comfortable when my seat neighbor, a partner from one of the Big Four, started talking to me. He was flying over for a quick »Rooftop Cappuccino« and would be flying back in the morning. He almost seemed to brag about his 100-hour workweek and how he always liked to treat himself to these awesome quick hitting trips. How someone could be so proud of working 100 hours a week and boast about such a fact within a 45 second conversation, left me speechless. Crazy!
Over the course of 15 years as an M&A consultant, there have been several situations where I had to just shake my head at my own industry. Whether it be the »win at all costs« mentality, the life-time consuming face-time culture or the countless empty phrases which are thrown around without reflection. I almost didn’t know if I belonged here anymore. However, my fascination of M&A, with its never boring mixture of psychology, strategy and mathematics did not let go of me. Thanks to several fortunate circumstances, I was allowed the opportunity to co-found Aquin and am proud to be surrounded by not only good but down to earth people.
Aquin is not a sterile investment bank. We are a M&A manufactory. With the intricate work ethic of an instrument maker servicing customers from around the world. We act with experience, soul and are unconditionally committed to quality.
By the way: 50 hours per week. Even in the founding years, this was always my personal limit. I admire entrepreneurs who manage to make themselves dispensable. Now that is something to shoot for!