Joseph Ravitch, US cofounder and boutique partner speaks to Team G5
We held another G5 Talks session and this time, our guest was Joseph Ravitch, a co-founder and partner of The Raine Group (USA). At the virtual chat, Joe talked about career and business matters with G5 Partners’ Corrado Varoli, founding partner and CEO, and Nathaniel Wendling, senior partner and head of Strategic Advisory.
G5 Talks is a project in which business leaders exchange experiences and lessons learnings with members of the G5 team.
During the chat, Joseph remembered historical moments from the start of his career, such as when he helped develop laws for the market economy of Russia and the former Soviet Union, back in 1990/1991. At the time, he lived in London.
“I was very lucky, as my law firm had the opportunity to work directly with the Yeltsin government [the first elected president of Russia] where we began drafting laws for the Soviet Union and, ultimately, for Russia, aiming to introduce rules in which people could have private property”.
From Goldman Sachs to The Raine Group
During many years of his career, Joseph served as an partner at Goldman Sachs and had the opportunity to work in several places across the world, such as London and Hong Kong. It is worth mentioning Corrado and Joe met and worked together for many years at the same place. In early 2009, Joe decided to start a new phase of his life and created his own business, thus founding the boutique investment bank The Raine Group.
According to him, “the key to success was to create a different strategy”, in addition to also investing in areas where he had great interest and expertise. “We are passionate about sports, entertainment, digital media and interactive services”.
The Raine Group is an international boutique investment bank focused exclusively on the technology, media and telecommunications markets. The company has offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Shanghai and Mumbai.
Successful case study
In the chat with the G5 Team, Joseph discussed the Manchester City Football Club success story in which The Raine Group played an important role for the team’s expansion.
“We had the privilege of working with a group in Abu Dhabi during a long time, the Mubadala group. Through them, we met another group from Abu Dhabi that acquired Manchester City Football Club a few years ago. When the Abu Dhabi group and Sheik Mansour acquired the Manchester City Football Club, they bought it from Thailand’s Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, and the football world did not give them any credit. They said they had bought the wrong team in Manchester.
According to the executive, at the time, nobody knew Manchester City, but everyone knew Manchester United. “The Abu Dhabi group did a lot of smart things. The first was to bring in a CEO, a Catalan who had worked at FC Barcelona for many years and brought experience about the business model and soccer. They also hired Raine to develop a strategy”.
Joseph also recalls that in the first three years after the acquisition of Manchester City, Abu Dhabi spent more money on buying players than any other team in the history of the Premier League. About three years after the acquisition, they won the national championship. At the time, Manchester City had recorded a loss of £275 million. Even with their success in the field, many still did not believe in the team, he recalled.
“That was when Raine came into the picture since the CEO needed a strategy that would prove the acquisition was a smart purchase and that they would be financially successful. So, we developed a strategy for City Football and created a global soccer brand. We started by buying a team in Australia, called Melbourne City. Melbourne City players wear the same color uniforms as Manchester City and train on Manchester training grounds. Today, the brand is very powerful and global. But ten years ago, nobody cared and heard about City, nobody knew their brand”.