Avant Global CEO Demetri Argyropoulos specializes in creating relationships—but not just any relationships. His business advisory company has generated over $15 billion in value creation for clients, and creates strategic relationships for them to further their success and provide clients with the best possible support. Avant Global invests its own capital in venture capital opportunities and other asset classes.
Chief Executive spoke with Argyropoulos about what makes businesses successful, what he looks for in leaders within his own team and what he loves about his job. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What are some of the common traits that you see in successful organizations?
A: I would say great leadership. I would say visionaries that really can execute, which is often rare. I think of building businesses like a supply chain or an assembly line. If you don’t have all the parts and you don’t have each part of the supply chain engineered really well, then the finished product doesn’t come out very well.
You really have to have the best people in all parts of your business, so that the finished product comes out great. But don’t try to build everything. I think that’s where visionaries often get really derailed is that they have so many ideas they just keep making stuff that is mediocre, because they’re cranking out stuff too quickly for the rest of the machine to keep up, and the finished product isn’t coming out very well. I think it’s really good to be a visionary and to be creative, but then to really focus on what works and what doesn’t and to stick to something that’s successful. And obviously be innovative, but don’t be so distracted by too many things at the same time.
“I get to go create every day, and I have great people around me that help to achieve success.”
I would also say creating extreme competitive advantages is key, and really conquering new frontiers. That’s how you stay ahead of the curve.
Q: What are some of the things you look for in people when adding to your leadership team at Avant Global?
A: Honesty, resilience, fortitude, tenacity to win, hard work, hard work… hard work. Working really smart, kindness, patience, the ability to forecast future needs, accountability, positivity, contribution—not just listening, but contributing things that are valuable, personal development.
Q: How do you keep on top of Avant Global’s three business units: venture capital, strategic advisory and the holding company?
A: It’s not easy but we have one underlying team, that’s what we do. We put the right people together and it creates value by creating one platform. At the end of the day we do one thing, and that is putting trusted relationships that have tremendous value together with trusted relationships that have tremendous value. Equal or greater value on both sides.
There’s significant upside for both sides of the strategic partnership, meaning that whether it’s intellectual capital, human capital, actual property or skills, the combined relationship creates maximum value for both sides. That’s how you build the trust that we have today.
I think that’s exciting and I think that it is challenging to run a lot of moving parts. They are puzzle pieces, in a way, and they’re all valuable. We all have those pieces of value and we assemble them. Having so many relationships, globally, together in the right scenarios, that compound effect of trust continues to build. We also do fewer, much larger transactions.
Q: What you love most about this job?
A: I’m in year 19 of my career, I’m loving it, I have energy, I get to do what I love. I get to pick who I want to work with on projects I’m really interested in. If I don’t like somebody, if I don’t trust somebody and if I don’t believe in them, I don’t do it. I work with people I can count on, that I like, who we’re solving a mission-critical problem for.
And that’s what I love. I get to go create every day, and I have great people around me that help to achieve success. I can’t do it without them. I’m the originator, but then there’s a lot of work my team puts in to put the wheels in motion.
Our clients believe in what we do, and understand the value we bring, because there’s a foundation of trust. That trust opens doors to high-quality opportunities for us. I get to work with such incredible minds. I’m really, really grateful for that.