Investment Banking in the

Marriage Market
a systematic and efficient method
to optimize yourself and find, evaluate, and sign the deal with your spouse

notes for speech delivered at:
National Council of Young Israel Singles Conference
November 7, 2004, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, New York

Covered in the Jewish Week:

by David and Luba Teten

(Times New Roman font = D a vid
Arial font = L u b a)

Why are a venture capitalist /entrepreneur and a risk manager speaking jointly at a
singles conference?

Three reasons:
1. I lived on the Upper West Side, and found a woman who would marry me in
just 7 months.
2. Most of my work since 2001 has involved building technology to search for
people, capital, and great companies to invest in.
3. I wrote a book on how to sell, market, and raise capital using social media (see, and led the first research study on how private equity
and VC funds find great companies, published in Harvard Business Review,
Journal of Private Equity, and Institutional Investor.

Question: The last time you were looking for a job, how many of you had an
organized approach? Sent out resumes, had a list of people to call, etc.

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Question: For those people looking to get married: How many have an
organized approach to finding a spouse?

Finding a spouse is similar to finding a job. In fact, being a good spouse is
a job. It may not pay well, but has very good benefits.

While the experience of falling in love may be irrational, finding a person to
fall in love with should be a rational and organized process. No one is
embarrassed to invest a lot of effort in getting and choosing appropriate job
leads before we customize our resumes and apply for interviews. There is
no reason not to invest at least as much effort in finding the person.

When starting a job many people are aware that they are likely to quit
before the end of their live. When entering matrimony very few want to
think that it is not going to last until the end.

Seeking a Seeking a Spouse
1. Prepare “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the
yourself. first four sharpening the axe."
- Abraham Lincoln

Think Mold yourself into the sort of spouse you want to
strategica be. Take classes, go to the gym, improve yourself,
lly about until you are reasonably close to the sort of person
your you aspire to be. You will marry someone fairly
resume. similar to yourself, so you yourself should be a
Take highly desirable person. Would you want your child
classes. to marry someone like you?
additional Accustom yourself to what married life is like,
degrees. e.g., live with some roommates.
Write for
publicatio Define who you are. Determine your elevator
n. pitch.

Avoid unhealthy influences which acclimate you
to being single. E.g., unrealistically and unnaturally

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beautiful women/men in the media.

Avoid substitutes: non-serious dates, spending time
with lots of single friends instead of on serious
dates, watching television.

Once you are confident that anyone you like has no
choice but to like you back, you are ready to meet
the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

Specify Decide that you want to get married, now.
function, Visualize your spouse. Now you have a
salary... broad image of an ideal partner in mind:
but be Olympic medalist, 2 Ivy League degrees,
open- speaks at least 3 languages. Ask, would this
minded kind of person want to marry you?

If not, loop back; you are not being
Minimize the number of red lines, but know
what they are.

In general, happy and unhappy couples are
equally compatible; the difference between
happy and unhappy couples is the quality of
their communication process.

Tell story about our friend who refuses to meet
anyone except in an “unplanned”, “romantic”,

Tell story about our friend who spent six years
avoiding meeting the man she eventually

2. Gather leads
Pursue all legal Networki Matchmakers, internet, speeddating, parties,

Investment Banking in the Marriage Market Page 3 of 9
and ethical ng, even perhaps offering
avenues to get independ
leads. ent Tell everyone you meet (business contacts, friends,
consultin religious leaders, other communal officials, and
g, people with whom you go out on dates if the date
writing, itself is not successful) about yourself and what you
job are seeking in a spouse. Tell the must-haves and the
boards. can’t-haves. Network!

Provide feedback to matchmakers.

Rank your Interview Develop a long list of potential matches.
leads. with Sort by combination of desirability plus real
multiple likelihood of marriage between you. Of course,
firms. unlike in the job market and unlike in biblical
Your goal times, I recommend serial rather than parallel
is dating.
simultane Tell Story about our friend’s list, asking all her
ous friends for the name of “just one nice guy”.

3. Evaluate
Analyze role Meet Spend time with role models: married people, not
models. senior singles.
Interview married couples with children
(including your parents) to develop a better
understanding of marriage and responsibilities
involved, and ask their advice on how to build a
successful marriage. Think about what parts of
marriages that you observe you would like to
emulate and what you would like to avoid.

In particular, look at the parents of your potential

Research marriage and dating. Some
recommended web sites: Some recommended web

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Evaluate Ask Draw up and compare personal life missions (as
compatibility by pointed discussed in Stephen Covey’s books) and compare
testing. E.g., questions, yours with a potential partner’s to make sure you are
kindness to e.g., ask to on the same wavelength—and that your missions
animals. see the appropriately incorporate a spouse.
financial Exhaustively review the major life questions.
statements Read Don't You Dare Get Married Until You Read
. This!, which is a list of about 500 pre-marriage
questions. (Sample questions: How would you feel
if my mother moved in with us? What would you
do if I gained 50 pounds?) Ask those questions,
either explicitly or implicitly.

When dating, place yourselves in diverse
situations: stay up until 4:30 AM; taking care of
friends’ children; going to very right-wing and very
left-wing environments to assess where you and
your potential future partner feel most at home; and
so on. This way you can evaluate how the other
person behaves under widely varying situations.

Consider using a Myers-Briggs test
win/JTypes2.asp or quick and dirty:

Visualize your Negotiat Draw up a list of the likely areas of conflict
future. e in your marriage (the “integration risk factors”).
compen Share them.
agreeme Jointly negotiate a marital agreement.

4. Build
Share Share and build trust.
ideas for

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how you - spend time together
will - do projects together
contribut - organize an event together
e to the
company. Learn about a University of California study on a
Have scientifically proven method of falling in love. And
meals then follow that advice!
Psychologist Arthur Aron conducted these
experiments at the University of California at Santa
 The people in these experiments had been
told that their lab mate was going to like
 Take two people who have never met, put
them in a room together for 90 minutes and
instruct them to exchange intimate
information, such as their most embarrassing
moment and how they would feel if they lost
a parent.
 Have them stare into each other's eyes for two
minutes without talking. At intervals, bring in
a researcher who says, "OK, tell the other
person what you already like about him."
 The first two subjects got married six months
later. They invited the entire research team to
their wedding.

For more on his research, see
[take questions]

5. Seal the deal.
Offer Offer the (finger) ring. Just do it! Propose! (No
handshak one is perfect, including you. If you never propose,
e. you’ll never marry.)

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Recommended Books

The first book is focused on business, but the same principles apply in looking for a spouse:

The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, by David
Teten and Scott Allen, published by the American Management Association. The Virtual Handshake
is the first mass market book about how businesspeople can use social media: to find new sources of
capital, companies to invest in, new clients, or new business partners. Harvard Business School's
"Working Knowledge" newsletter wrote: "This comprehensive book is a smart addition to any company
bookshelf." Professor Robert B. Cialdini, the author of “Influence: Science and Practice”, said, “Anyone
planning to build a business—online or not—will benefit from this pioneering book.” Extensive
information about the book, including a blog and resource center, is at .

Following are some more recommended books on how to find a spouse.

Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School, Rachel

Don't You Dare Get Married Until You Read This!, Corey Donaldson

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You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Deborah Tannen

That's Not What I Meant: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships,
Deborah Tannen

How to Determine if Someone is Worth Pursuing in 2 Dates or Less, Neil Clark Warren

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey

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David Teten is a Managing Partner with HOF Capital, a New York­based international venture capital 
fund.  He has particular interest in fintech, technology­enabled services, analytics, artificial intelligence, 
sales/recruiting technology, SaaS, and international startups.

David was formerly a Partner for six years with ff Venture Capital, one of the best­performing seed­ and 
early­stage venture capital firms in the U.S.   He served or serves on the boards of companies including 
Authorea, Ionic Security,, Earnest Research, and Whisk (sold to Deem).  Previously, 
David advised clients such as Goldman Sachs Special Situations Group, Icahn Enterprises, LLR Partners 
($1.4b fund), Birch Hill Equity Partners (C$2B fund), and other institutional investors.

David is Founder of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York, the largest angel 
group on the East Coast.  David was formerly Founder of Navon Partners, a software startup 
which identified private companies for investment using public data sources, and Acting CEO of Vertical 
Key, a SaaS business for managing large­scale events.  He was previously a Managing Director with 
Evalueserve, a 2,500­person global research and analytics company, and Founder and CEO of Circle of 
Experts, an investment research firm acquired by Evalueserve.  David was formerly Founder and CEO 
of GoldNames, an Israel­based investment bank in the internet domain name asset class. He worked with 
Bear Stearns’ Investment Banking division in their technology/defense mergers and acquisitions team. 
David holds a Harvard MBA (Second Year Honors) and a Yale BA (Distinction in the major).  David 
publishes research periodically at  

L u b a T e t e n is a market risk manager at Morgan Stanley.  She was previously a Vice President in 
risk management at Merrill Lynch, and formerly with NERA (National Economics Research 
Associates), the world's largest economics consulting firm.  She has also worked for the Center for 
International Comparisons at the University of Pennsylvania.  Luba holds a Master's degree in 
Mathematical Finance from Columbia University; studied graduate finance, math, and economics at 
New York University; and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Economics.  
Contact: Luba@T e t e

Contact: , @dteten .

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