Featured Media Mentions
“You could argue there’s never been a moment in history where a private-company founder has more power,” says Adam Epstein, an adviser on corporate governance to CEOs and their boards.
The Wall Street Journal (CEO deference)
Advocates for small-caps say that thin liquidity hurts the sector. Light trading volumes in a company’s shares can make it harder for the company to raise capital or even to entice top talent with stock-option grants, said Adam Epstein, founder of Third Creek Advisors, which advises small-cap firms.
“It’s a pretty austere challenge for these companies,” he said at the SEC meeting.
"Upstart Exchange Blasts Nasdaq Plan to Boost Small-Stock Trading", The Wall Street Journal, Alexander Osipovich, April 23, 2018
The Wall Street Journal (SEC Meeting)
“When boards fail to effectively oversee ‘tone at the top,’ when companies devolve into win ‘at all cost’ (culture), it’s often because the board is inexperienced or lacks sufficient time to focus thereon,” Epstein said. “In the valley, the problem is rarely (the former). It often has more to do with the fact that investors/directors often are on many boards, and also have day jobs.”
“Zenefits Struggles Show VC’s Are Not Paying Enough Attention,” San Francisco Chronicle, Thomas Lee, February 18, 2016
San Francisco Chronicle (Zenefits)
"The weaknesses you see at Sony and other companies, large and small, can’t be fixed by installing one more fire wall or some new antivirus software. By the time the good guys zig, the bad guys are already zagging.”
“Forget the Gossip, These Are the Lessons of the Sony Hack,” Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul M. Barrett, December 16, 2014
Businessweek (Sony Cyber Breach)
“The 10b5-1 rule created a safe harbor for executives from insider trading. Opportunistic trading is what they are trying to obviate. When you are an insider and you are trading opportunistically, why is filing a little form supposed to make me feel like you are complying.”
“Directors Take Shelter in Trading Plans,” The Wall Street Journal, Susan Pulliam and Rob Barry, April 25, 2013
The Wall Street Journal (10b5 plans)
"The small-cap ecosystem has changed materially since 2008, but unfortunately pre-IPO board composition practices have remained largely the same.”
Thanks to John Carreyrou’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting in The Wall Street Journal, and his new book, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, few people haven’t heard of Theranos. Its saga is a cautionary tale about how not to operate—or invest in—startups and a treasure trove of boardroom takeaways. For those who […]
By now, everyone has heard of or read about Theranos. The consumer healthcare startup vowed to revolutionize the blood testing industry by facilitating hundreds of cost-effective tests from a mere drop of blood. The company raised $800 million and famously reached a $9 billion valuation, before the Securities and Exchange Commission – with a material […]
Spend enough time around startups and you’ll hear a common refrain from founders and CEOs: “Boards are predominantly a form-over-substance waste of time.” But for those who have watched Uber’s challenges get splashed across global media, their takeaway should be… the reverse. A properly composed, dynamically-engaged board would likely have helped Travis Kalanick avoid the […]
I recently had dinner with a public company CEO and one of his board members. Among other things, they wanted my thoughts on how their new “roll-up” strategy was likely to be perceived by investors. Inasmuch as this has been a recurring conversation I’ve had over the last 15 years, I thought I would re-create it for […]
If small-cap companies, and the professional service providers who advise them, comprehended how an institutional investor *actually* reviews corporate websites, websites would look a lot different than they do. I recently had dinner with some former buy-side colleagues. I asked them: “How many of you, in the last couple of months, have ruled out investing […]