He would do to it what venture capitalists do: they snap up struggling firms for a snip, plump them up, streamline, rationalise, asset strip and, oh yes, sack, before selling on for a very tidy profit a few months later.
There was no shortage of voices accusing venture capitalists of being unaccountable, invisible Svengalis, a jaundiced symptom of get-rich-quick spivvery - the very nemesis of good HR practice.
Venture capitalists - like their fellow deal-makers in mergers and acquisitions - are simply not seen as being very interested in people. "The financial, legal, and accountancy mafia concentrate on doing the deal - that is par for the course," says Simon Barrow, chairman of management and recruitment consultancy People in Business.
"They do have to check how good the people are they are backing, therefore they ought to be interested in first-class HR planning and the ability to work in a team and so on.
"But the truth is that time pressure gets in the way of HR best practice, so I am not really sure how much they do. I don't think they are terribly interested. You get paid for doing deals, the same as insurance."
Oddly enough, the Rover crisis came at a time when the venture capital industry is going to great lengths to emphasise its positive influence on employment. After all, venture capital is responsible for Madame Tussaud's, IPC magazines, Tetley Tea, Sock Shop, Dunlop Slazenger, National Express, William Hill, Odeon Cinemas, United Biscuits, Goldsmiths, Umbro and Hozelock.
Even the future has been mortgaged to VC: Dolly the Sheep creators PPL Therapeutics is owned by Apax Partners.
Some rather tendentious statistics produced by trade body the British Venture Capital Association make the point 50 per cent of venture capital finance is for expansion - £1bn was invested in high technology companies last year.
Between 1994 and 1998, venture-backed companies increased their staff levels three times faster than that of FTSE 100 companies. The average number of people employed in VC-backed companies rose by 24 per cent against a national growth rate of 1.3 per cent; sales rose by 40 per cent, profits by 24 per cent, exports by 44 per cent and investment by 34 per cent.
Altogether, Britain's venture capital fraternity (the UK accounts for 49 per cent of the total European investment) invested some £7.8bn in 1,300 companies.
"Asset-stripping is really a phrase from the 1970s", says D