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Drinks With The Deal: Akin's Ramanathan on Move From Bain to Private Practice

Published: September 7th, 2023
Ranesh Ramanathan, co-head of private credit and special situations at Akin, discusses why he decided to return to a law firm after 14 years in-house at Citi and Bain and how he's thought about his career.

After a decade as associate and then deputy general counsel at Bain Capital LLC, Ranesh Ramanathan has grown restless, he said on this week’s Drinks With The Deal podcast.

“I was spending more and more and more of my time on management, on HR issues, on ensuring my team was properly motivated and had great runway and career opportunities and access and building a great career for them, and my job was doing fewer and fewer deals,” said Ramanathan, now a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and co-leader of special situations and private credit practice. “Though I liked what I was doing, it wasn’t fulfilling.”

Instead, Ramanathan wanted to be back to doing deals. In his time at Bain, a Boston-based private equity sponsor, he had seen the evolution of multistrategy credit businesses at sponsors, and he believed there was an opportunity to provide outside counsel on credit deals, which often evolve quickly.

A transaction may start as a debt deal and end up as a hybrid or equity deal, Ramanathan said. “You need to be able to be flexible and adapt, and you need the practices to bring to bear that are relevant.”

Ramanathan also discussed his journey from law school to being an associate to moving in-house at Citigroup Inc. and then to Bain and his unusual candor in talking to potential employers. “I live my life as an open book,” he said. “If you don’t lay it all out there, it’s harder for people to understand who you are and whether or not you fit with that place.”

Listen to the podcast with Ranesh Ramanathan below:

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