Private companies are flooding to special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, to bypass the traditional IPO process and gain a public listing. WSJ explains why some critics say investing in these so-called blank-check companies isn’t worth the risk.
"For Startup Leaders, SPACs Have Lost Their Allure"
"Airbnb was bleeding cash earlier this year, making its plans to go public by the end of 2020 look bleak. But by adapting its business to the pandemic, Airbnb looks to have salvaged its IPO and possibly its future."
"Tech IPO Bonanza Yields Riches for Venture-Capital Firms"
"The SEC could ask the judge to increase the $20 million fine Musk has already paid or move to punish the company’s board if they don’t rein him in," said Adam Epstein, a corporate-governance adviser. "But SEC is not likely to ask that Musk be removed from the company altogether, as it initially did last year," he said.
SEC asks judge to hold Tesla’s Elon Musk in contempt, saying he violated settlement deal
An alternate universe: The small, young company board,Deloitte, July 2021 The term “best practice” is often applied to corporate governance, but to the extent that the term suggests that there is just one way of doing things, it’s of questionable value. Each company is different in terms of its history, culture, and other qualities. In particular, practices that work for larger, more mature companies may not work well (or at all) for smaller, younger companies. Accordingly, boards should adjust their practices and procedures to achieve their goals.
The Key Ingredient to Effective Virtual Annual Shareholder Meetings,Nasdaq, June 2020 Among the many consequences of the global health crisis, there has been a rapid proliferation of virtual annual shareholder meetings. Going forward – in those states where virtual meetings are permitted – companies will have to determine whether to return to meetings with a physical component when it is safe to do so or stay with the virtual-only format. Buy-side support for virtual-only meetings will principally hinge upon one thing: transparency.
Board Composition Through An Investor’s Lens, Nasdaq, January 2020 According to Activist Insight, the majority of shareholder activist campaigns in 2019 were waged against companies with market capitalizations below $2 billion, and most of those overtures involved corporate governance issues. The moral of the story for small-cap boardroom occupants is clear: the buy-side is intent upon what you are doing, and how you are doing it.
The Case for Deregulating Small Caps, Directorship, September/October 2019 There are roughly now half the number of companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange as there were in the mid-1990s, and there is no shortage of dire media pronouncements about what it all means. The alarmists tend to share the same economic biases, and the arguments in favor of more exchange listings gloss over some market exigencies.
Small-Cap Boards Can’t Afford to Ignore CEO Communication Skills, Directorship, July/August 2019 Seasoned small-cap fund managers are forensic observers: they parse everything they read and hear. Many have learned that small-caps are risky enough on a good day, but when the company is also run by a CEO who is a poor communicator, the risks escalate.
Top 5 Ways You Can Benefit From Your Competitor’s IPO, Nasdaq MarketInsite, June 2019 While IPOs are seminal finance and marketing events for companies transacting them, issuers that are already Nasdaq-listed can also benefit from their newly-listed competitors in five ways that are often overlooked.
Effective Storytelling Starts With Plain English, Nasdaq MarketInsite, June 2019 If your company’s storytelling acumen is high, your test subjects will quickly and accurately grasp the zeitgeist of your company. If they struggle, it’s likely that lots of small-cap investors – many of whom are generalists – don’t sufficiently understand what your company does either.
Why Today’s Founder CEO’s Should Google Google, Directorship, May/June 2019 When 19th-century economists like Irving Fisher pioneered the concept of “highest and best use” Silicon Valley founders were facts not in evidence. Even so, the real estate term is just as applicable to how smart investors assess companies, and why founders should continually reassess their roles.
A Resolution For Governance Experts, Directorship, January/February 2019 In the United States, nearly all governance thought leadership is focused on Fortune 1000 companies. The problem is that this content isn’t as applicable to the boardrooms of this country’s other 14,000 public companies as governance experts think.
Investor Meetings: When Board Deference Can Be Fatal, Directorship, July/August 2014 Sometimes CEOs of micro- and small-cap companies lack appreciable experience running public companies. Boards all too often overlook the same when it comes to financings and investor meetings.
Are Venture-Backed Companies Keeping Pace, Directorship, March/April 2013 The average venture-backed IPO company needs to build a solid board pre-IPO, with newly public companies facing more serious challenges than ever before and very little room for error as fewer companies go public.
The Constraints of Thin-Cap Company Boards, Directorship, March/April 2012 The role of the board is different for small-cap companies, where the line separating governance from management issues isn’t so bright.
ERM: The Elephant in the Room, Directorship (online), July 20, 2011 Boards are destined to underperform if they don’t understand the risks they are asked to monitor.
Risk Mitigation on a Budget, Directorship (online), May 2, 2011 Directors have multiple opportunities for risk management education, from formal classes to casual networking.
Social Media and Compliance, Directorship (online), January 24, 2011 Companies must be cautious that the information disseminated by employees on both company and personal social media pages complies with federal securities laws.
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