About Adam J. Epstein

Globally recognized small-cap expert & boardroom advisor


A globally recognized small-cap expert, Mr. Epstein has advised, governed, and invested in hundreds of small-cap companies. His capital markets and corporate governance acumen are products of a singular perspective – a former corporate attorney, operating executive, institutional investor, and, now, board advisor. As Bloomberg Businessweek commented regarding Mr. Epstein’s category-defining corporate governance book, “attention, directors of small-cap companies. Help is on the way.” 

Mr. Epstein is an advisor to CEOs and boards of pre-IPO and small-cap companies through his firm, Third Creek Advisors, LLC. He speaks monthly at corporate governance and investor conferences, and has appeared internationally more than 150 times since 2012. Mr. Epstein is a member of Small-Cap Institute, Inc.’s editorial advisory board, he is a key contributor to Nasdaq’s Amplify small-cap content initiative, and he is a mentor at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.

“Trust me, you want Adam in your boardroom. Incidentally, so do your investors.”

Peter Holt, CEO (Nasdaq: JYNT) 

He is the author of The Perfect Corporate Board: A Handbook for Mastering the Unique Challenges of Small-Cap Companies (New York: McGraw Hill, 2012), and he is a contributing author to The Handbook of Board Governance: A Comprehensive Guide for Public, Private and Not for Profit Board Members (New Jersey: Wiley, 2016). In June 2017, The Perfect Corporate Board was the “#1 Best Seller” in the corporate governance vertical on Amazon.com, and in June 2016, The Handbook of Board Governance was the “#1 New Release” in corporate governance on Amazon.com. From 2012 through 2019, Mr. Epstein co-founded and wrote the “Entrepreneurial Governance” column in Directorship magazine.

Previously, Mr. Epstein was lead independent director, then chairman of OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of solid-state drive storage and computer components. Prior to founding Third Creek, he co-founded and was a principal of Enable Capital Management, LLC (ECM). During his tenure, ECM’s special situation hedge funds invested in more than 500 small-cap financings in the United States, the European Union, and Australasia. Before ECM, Mr. Epstein held senior operating roles with Enable Capital, LLC, a merchant bank, Surge Components, Inc., a vendor of discrete capacitors and semiconductors, MailEncrypt.com, Inc., a provider of encrypted email services, Tickets.com, Inc., an entertainment ticketing company, Vertical Horizons, a continuing education vendor, and Achilles’ Wheels, Inc., an operator of skate and snowboard retail locations. He started his career as an attorney at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, after having been a law clerk at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Mr. Epstein has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek and on Nasdaq Livestream and CNN Presents, and has been quoted in, among others, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Information, Forbes, Agenda (Financial Times), Dagens Industri, Compliance Week, CBS Marketwatch, San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, and American Bar Association Journal. In April 2018, Mr. Epstein was invited to provide small-cap capital markets testimony to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

He is an active supporter of U.S. veterans and their families; all of his royalties from The Perfect Corporate Board are donated to Fisher House Foundation.

Mr. Epstein earned a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Vassar College. Preceding undergraduate study, he graduated from the American School in London.

Industry Testimonials

Adam is a thoughtful and engaging speaker with an astute and informed perspective on early stage start-up and small-cap public companies. His experience as an institutional investor and as a board member, give him a holistic understanding of the complex challenges facing these companies, their board and CEOs. Adam is able to distill down the most important elements and deliver them in a clear, compelling, no-nonsense way that audiences really connect with. It’s the reason that we have invited Adam back to speak at multiple events year-over-year. To top it off, he’s a complete joy to work with.

Erin Essenmacher

Chief Programming Officer

Adam has consistently supported our Board Development Program as a speaker sharing his unique perspective regarding the challenges of governing small-cap companies. He is one of the highest rated speakers at every session. We have been fortunate to benefit from his extensive knowledge on the realities of serving on small-cap boards and appreciate his contributions to our program.

Rick Sanders

Managing Director, Office of the Chairman

I consider myself to have found a friend and ally on a mutual quest to impart knowledge to boards of directors, particular those of smaller organizations who face unique challenges. Having now had several opportunities to work with Adam in a speaking capacity, I have seen first-hand how he breaks down and defines relevant issues faced by boards and management of smaller and mid-size companies with refinement and proficiency, but further provides tangible guidance and solutions that organizations can use to bolster decision-making and resource allocation in the areas of capital structuring and formation as well as overall sound governance practices. His writings and teachings reflect deep knowledge and demonstrate a sincere passion for education and advising.

Amy Rojik

Partner and Director of the Center for Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting

Experiencing Adam speaking about small company corporate governance is like watching a locomotive come out of a closet! His passion and energy are palpable, and the perspective he brings as a former special situations investor is quite unique. I have invited Adam to speak on several panels for the American Bar Association and The Practising Law Institute, and he never fails to open the eyes of the audience to the particular trials of, and skills needed within, small-cap boards.

Frank M. Placenti

Leader, Corporate Governance Practice of Squire Patton Boggs LLP, and President, American College of Governance Counsel

As a teacher at the Center, Adam inspires founders to think differently about company oversight and gives them tools to support growth while creating long term, sustainable value to shareholders and stakeholders. Adam has a unique and passionate way of breaking down the principals of corporate governance through stories and experiences that highlight actionable steps any entrepreneur can take to make their business stronger and better able to overcome the big challenges that come their way.

Celena Aponte

Director of Strategic Initiatives

If you’re a CEO, your board should be a decisive competitive advantage, but many see them as ornaments. We wanted to make that point as emphatically as possible to the attendees of our recent ‘Startup Exit Masterclass,’ so we reached out to Adam, since he’s a nationally recognized thought leader on this subject. Adam has a dynamic stage presence and made very clear with memorable examples what the upside of a real board could be. We all look forward to working with him again.

Benjamin Joffe

Partner, SOSV VC Fund & HAX Hardware Accelerator

Boardrooms in the News

See why 1000s of global execs read Adam’s private, bi-weekly takes on topical boardroom-related news stories, capital markets, and…other stuff.

CEO Center

Read Adam's latest insights on the unique challenges that face small-cap boardrooms.


Attract Better Investors

As a former institutional investor, Adam knows precisely what’s required in this regard.

Raise Capital Less Dilutively​

Adam has invested in 500+ small-cap financings; he knows exactly where companies always go wrong.

Optimize Your Board of Directors​

Adam has helped countless small-cap companies transform their boards into competitive advantages.

Improve Storytelling

Imagine if your storytelling was so effective that employees, customers, and investors could become brand ambassadors.

Attract Better Employees​

Adam can help you create and oversee a corporate culture that attracts and retains better employees.

Companies that Adam advises no longer have to speculate how institutional investors will react to critical day-to-day decisions.

Thousands of global execs read Adam’s bi-weekly leadership commentary

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