Category: finance

When IPOs Flop

When IPOs Flop Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

When a privately held company first goes public and sells shares to the public, that’s known as an initial public offering. Some IPOs are legendary. Many banks, telecom and social media giants had record-setting IPOs that people still talk about today.

Not every company is so lucky. Even some highly anticipated IPOs don’t live up to expectations. Some of the biggest IPO flops date to the dotcom boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many of these were innovative ideas designed to disrupt a dated way of doing business.

One of the best examples of an IPO gone wrong is During the late 1990s, launched as an online pet supply store. Though it had several competitors in the space, this company also had lots of momentum. Its mascot connected with customers in a big way, making it into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In the late 1990s, attracted investment from internet giants like Amazon. Its IPO in 2000 raised over $80 million. Yet this company still ran into trouble. Sales of staple products like bulk food were slow, in part because shipping was so expensive. Stock prices went from a high of $14 to a low of 22 cents. went bust just nine months after the IPO.

During the early aughts, Vonage was the biggest name in VOIP in the United States. The company was growing quickly, and attracted lots of investment. The downside of this rapid expansion was that Vonage struggled to scale up, losing money from 2001 to 2006. Vonage decided to raise money by selling stock.

The IPO raised over $500 million. On the surface, it looked like a success. However, Vonage had taken a new approach. In addition to offering shares to investment firms and qualified individual investors, Vonage offered shares to users. On the day of the IPO, a glitch for Vonage customers caused trouble.

Customers were told their transactions hadn’t gone through. Days later, charges hit their accounts. The charges were for the initial stock price of $17. However, in the time between the glitch and the finalized purchases, the stock had lost 30% of its value.

IPOs should be pursued with caution. These can be exciting investments, but they are notoriously hard to evaluate. Even companies with lots of momentum can have rocky IPOs.


How an IPO is Set Up

How an IPO is Set Up Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

When a company goes from private to public, that process is known as an initial public offering, or IPO. IPOs are a great way for companies to grow. Private companies have few investors. They may have been funded by the founders, some family members and friends. Some promising private companies may also attract angel investors.

An IPO is a great way for a company to level up. Selling new shares means there will be more money available to pay down debt and fund new research. Initial public offerings can also attract lots of media attention. They can also be a great marketing tool.

IPOs are also one way that founders and early investors in a company can monetize their own shares. By selling off some of their stock, they can transform the estimated value of their company into cold, hard cash for the first time. For example, when Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg sold some of his own shares and made over $1 billion.

The process for an IPO is fairly complicated and can take six months to a year. First, companies need to get at least an investment bank on board. Sometimes, multiple investment banks are involved. They may work together as a team, or each bank might work alone under their own power.

The next step is to meet with the SEC. Everyone must attend these meetings: lawyers, underwriters, company management and auditors. These meetings are crucial. They will determine the size of the initial public offering and how it is timed.

After this meeting, lots of due diligence is required. This includes market due diligence, legal due diligence and IP due diligence. When the due diligence is complete, the S-1 Registration Statement can be completed.

An S-1 Registration Statement is very detailed, including historical financial information, risk assessment and more. Once it’s ready, a pre-IPO meeting is held so bankers and analysts can learn about the IPO. This also educates them on how to sell it to people. A preliminary prospectus might also be prepared.

Market research is conducted to figure out how investors feel about the company, and what price they would be willing to pay. Managers will meet with investment bankers to settle on a final price. Then, shares are allocated to investors by investment banks, and the stock starts to trade publicly.


Entering the Competitive Field of Private Equity Investing

Entering the Competitive Field of Private Equity Investing Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

This article will explorer the challenges of entering the field of Private Equity Investing. This field has become a sought-after industry. As a result, it can be difficult to become an associate. To begin with, private equity firms look to hire entry-level staff who have a minimum of two years of experience as an investment banking analyst. In comparison to investment banks, associates that work at private equity firms are notorious for working long hours. This is common when they’re closing a deal.

Another qualification to become an associate is their education and training. In addition to the required experience is having a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in finance, accounting, statistics, mathematics, or economics. It isn’t common for private equity firms to hire straight out of college or a business school. The exception is if the student had a private equity internship. Some private equity firms reach out to former management consultants to fill a position. Another commonality to fill a position within the firm is networking. Some companies have their preferred choice of headhunters to assist with fulfilling a vacancy.

A key factor to becoming considered for this small field is the expectation of handling the required duties. Together with experience, leadership is another major positive in any candidate. An associate will be expected to handle analytical model, portfolio company monitoring, reviewing CIMs (confidential information memorandum), and fundraising. From the aforementioned, the primary function that’s expected from the associate is to provide analysis to the principals and partners to make an informed decision about the deal. A common task would be setting up preliminary due diligence reports and modeling the expected growth forecasts.

Many people explorer the opportunity of entering this field, because of the salary and compensation. This is another reason for the competitiveness and difficulty of becoming an associate. It is not uncommon for first-year associates to make up to $250,000, and with a bonus of 25-50% off their base salary. The typical protocol for working your way up the firm is starting off as a Senior Associate, then Vice President/Principal, and finally as the Director/Partner.

In summary, a private equity associate is expected to participate in deals from inception to closing. The work is satisfying and financially rewarding.


Changes for Employees After an IPO

Changes for Employees After an IPO Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

When a company has an IPO (initial public offering), it means that the company is offering shares to the public for the first time. Companies can choose to go public for several reasons, such as they need capital, the company wants to invest in further growth. In some cases, they go public to allow owners to exit the company. While some of these might sound bad, it can actually be a very good thing for employees.

A perk for employees is that they might be given shares as compensation, or the chance to buy shares in the company.

After the IPO is in effect, the price of the share will likely rise, and the employee will have benefitted by purchasing the share at a much lower price. This rise gives employees an advantage if they choose to sell or keep their shares. If the company’s shares continue to do well in the market, then there is the possibility that the employees will be offered bonus shares at an advantage not given to the public. Tech companies are a prime example of an IPO working out extraordinarily well for employees, such as those who worked for Google and Facebook.

Employees should take advantage of shares offered, as it is a great way to make extra money, and there are virtually no downsides. These type of shares have even created millionaires.

While day to day operations will likely remain the same for general employees, those who work in finance and human resources will probably have a change in workload for a period. There will be new business complexities that will have to be implemented and honed to keep the company running smoothly. The company will also be responsible for SEC filing and complying with SOX.

There are some things that will change in the chain of command as well. A board of directors will be implemented into the company to ensure that decisions made will benefit the shareholders. This has the potential to change the leadership style and perhaps the workplace environment.

The company will also likely hire new employees to keep up with the demands that come with being a public company. So current employees can expect team growth.

In conclusion, going IPO will not change much for employees and can even be beneficial.


A Day In The Life Of A Private Equity Investor


A Day In The Life Of A Private Equity Investor Romeo DiBattista Jr.pngEquities trading can be a challenging and rewarding job within the financial industry. This brief blog gives prospective traders and other interested parties a peak into what a day performing said function might be like.

The Definition Of An Equities Trader

Someone employed in said position purchases and sells shares of company stocks available on the equities market. Those who succeed in this field often must perform specific duties on a regular basis that might include:

Staying On Top Of Financial News

Important financial occurrences can change on almost an hourly basis. Any such alteration could have a profound impact on a client’s financial portfolio. Therefore, equities traders will often devote significant amounts of time to staying abreast of all pertinent financial and economic news by reading noteworthy publications, magazines and viewing important financial news programs.

Searching For New Investment Opportunities

The volatility of financial institutions like the stock market often mandates that equities traders continually be on the lookout for new investment opportunities. Said opportunities might present themselves often. However, choosing which ones have the potential to yield a client the loftiest returns often requires significant research and, in certain instances, an innate ability to simplify and comprehend complex extenuating factors.

Reaching Out To Contacts

Equities traders frequently interact with contacts in the industry. In many instances, connections can alert said professionals to new and exciting investment opportunities.

Projecting Potential Returns

Many equities traders spend extended durations estimating investment profits for prospective or existing clients. It is important to reiterate that successful equities traders earn money for their client base. However, such investments come with a certain risk. Equities traders spend much time examining the investment portfolios of specific companies and entities and attempt to estimate how an investor can grow their wealth.

Weighing Pros And Cons

Formulating favorable portfolios, however, requires equities traders to wade through countless amounts if information and weigh the potential positives and negatives of a given investment. Said professionals often draw ultimate conclusions about a specific investment opportunity after considering factors like market volatility, the stability of a particular company, the client’s individual investment goals and financial aims, as well as how aggressive the client is (actually meaning how much money the client is either willing or is capable of losing if conditions change and the prospectus does not pan out as planned).


What to Expect When Your Company Goes Public

What to Expect When Your Company Goes Public Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

Bringing your company public is a big decision to make. While it can bring a large and sudden infusion of money to your operations, there are some things to consider. Everything from your company culture to your independence and agency as a business owner can shift with the decision to go public. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering making your business a public entity.

The first thing you can expect if your company goes public is a period of quiet. The process of becoming an IPO can be a long period, and there will be a long period where your company can’t speak about the terms. But you can expect an intense amount of interest from the press. The most frustrating part is the amount of speculation involved in this period, because much of this will be negative and ill-informed. And since those involved in the IPO process can’t say anything, that wild speculation will inevitably snowball.

The process of going public can also make businesses far more vulnerable to lawsuits. Since becoming an IPO suggests that the company is flush with funds, frivolous lawsuits are likely, and that can feed back into the media circus. Also exacerbating the problem is the fact that wealth managers and investment banks will start aggressively pursuing employees to offer them financial services. For owners and managers who understand the complexities of the change, it’s important to provide a sense of certainty to your employees who may have trouble separating the speculation from the truth. Having a strong HR department in place can do a world of good in the days leading up to the day of IPO.

Just don’t expect things to go back to business as usual as soon as the IPO is approved. Many employees will be spending wildly in expectation of how the stock will rise, and new rules will be put in place for who can access financial and user data. This lockdown period can last 90 to 180 days on average, so it’s important to maintain strong communications through every layer of your business.

Fortunately, the storm of miscommunications will eventually settle down after the lockdown period. Becoming an IPO can be a beneficial move for plenty of businesses, but it’s important to make sure that you provide your staff with the support and resources they need during these rocky months.


What Is The Process of an IPO in Canada?

What Is The Process of an IPO in Canada_ Romeo DiBattista Jr.pngIn Canada, the IPO process is very deliberate as it involves the preparation and delivery of two documents to the security regulators. These are the preliminary prospectus and the final prospectus. The first step in the process comes in the drafting phase.

The drafting process incorporates input from a multitude of parties and this process can take potentially weeks to complete. Members of management such as the CEO and COO are usually involved in the description-writing process and making provisions for financial data to be included in the prospectus. The preliminary prospectus has all of the disclosures that will also be present in the final prospectus. The only exception to his is the price and the number of shares that will be issued. All of this varies on the timing of the final prospectus, and potential updates to the financial portion that may need to be updated.

Preliminary and final prospectuses can also be divided into two more sub-categories, being long-form and short-form. The long-form prospectuses incorporate the financial statements in the body of the document and used if the company in question does not have current financial statements at their disposal. Whereas short-form prospectuses are used for issuers that already have independent statements and other pertinent financial documents that have already been filed.

Then, underwriters and lawyers work together and organize a group that will have representation from management, company lawyers and auditors. This conglomerate will meet, usually correspond via email and have conference calls in order to get the framework of the document in place. Prospectuses and precedents will be shared, and they will be used as examples of what appropriate disclosures look like.

In terms of what is in a prospectus itself, there are required non-financial and financial information that should be incorporated. The non-financial information that is involved typically incorporate the business of the company, use of proceeds, executive compensation, audit committees, and risk factors. Required financial information involve pricing, regulatory review and the underwriter due diligence process.

For any director or executive officer of the company, the individual’s name, position, country of residence, occupation, the percentage of securities of each class and periods where each director has served (along with the expiration date) is required.

This is a basic framework process of an IPO in Canada.


Differences Between Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds

Differences Between Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds Romeo DiBattista Jr.png

Although private equity funds and hedge funds play a similar role in the investing world, they both function in very different ways. Most hedge and private equity funds cater to the wealthy. They typically set their investment minimums at $250,000. Return-on-investment is the primary goal of both types of funds, but the way they achieve high ROIs is not the same.

Hedge Funds

Hedge funds typically invest in liquid assets that can deliver returns as fast as possible. The funds then use those returns to invest in other assets with immediate promise. Hedge fund analysts invest in an assortment of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, currencies, credit derivatives and commodities. Whatever investment can deliver the highest returns in the shortest time possible is a target for hedge fund managers. The bottom line is managers look for profit in any market.

Private Equity Funds

On the other hand, private equity funds typically invest for the long term. For the most part, these funds put money directly into a company hoping to achieve long-term returns. Many of these funds target distressed companies and try to gain a controlling interest through stock purchases. Instead of breaking up the distressed companies and liquidating their assets, private equity funds will attempt to turn the companies around by streamlining their day-to-day operations or making management changes.

The key difference is private equity funds maintain a long-term outlook while hedge funds look for quick returns. Additionally, investors in private equity must commit to their investment for a certain period of time whereas hedge fund investors can liquidate their investments at any time.

Both funds maintain a level of investment risk. However, since they both cater to wealthy investors, they mitigate risk by hiring highly-regarded professionals with a proven track record of delivering returns. They also implement proven risk management solutions that are built to withstand volatile markets. However, most financial experts agree that hedge funds are riskier since the focus is on quick returns.

The Bottom Line

Investors should keep in mind that hedge funds and private equity funds do not have the same level of protection as investing in securities. The majority of private equity funds invest in companies that are not traded on the open markets and not subject to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.