Hamilton Lane - Wed, 02/22/2023 - 17:28

The Devil Is in the Details: Middle-Market Infrastructure Investing

The French novelist Gustave Flaubert famously said, “le bon Dieu est le dans detail,” which over the years has been loosely interpreted to mean, “the Devil is in the details.” A perfectionist, Flaubert constantly strove to find “le mot juste,” or “just the right word” in his novels, sometimes occupying an entire week writing and rewriting a single page with an intense focus on detail.1 Why? To ensure that his writing was “rhythmic as verse, precise as the language of sciences, undulant, deep-voiced as a cello, tipped with flame: A style that would pierce your idea like a dagger, and on which your thought would sail easily ahead over a smooth surface, like a skiff before a good tail wind.”2

Never in our lives could we hope to write something so beautiful. But Flaubert was right, the Devil is most certainly in the details.

What does this have to do with investing? Or even infrastructure? As middle market-focused investors, we will endeavor to explain.

1 Gosse, Edmund William (1911). "Flaubert, Gustave". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 483–484.
2 Flaubert, Gustave. The Letters of Gustave Flaubert 1830–1857. Translated by Steegmuller, Francis.

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