Adam is retained to speak by corporate governance organizations, corporate boards, law firms, audit/consulting firms, investor relations organizations, and investor conferences. In the last several years, he has appeared internationally more than 100 times.
As a former large firm lawyer, operating executive, and institutional investor, his topics include: small-cap boardroom best practices, capital markets, corporate finance, hiring/managing professional service providers, small-cap enterprise risk management, and small-cap board composition.
Whether he’s sharing the stage with Fortune 100 board members and former White House cabinet members, or presenting global keynotes, Adam is invited back over and over again by iconic companies due to his well-chronicled thought leadership, candor, humor, and practical takeaways.
Speaking Topics Include:
Whether your company is public or private, family-owned or non-profit, growth capital is likely in your future. Finance executives have been trained to believe that equity or debt financing comes down to financial metrics — full stop. But if equity and debt financings were just about dollars and cents, then how does that explain the fact that similarly performing companies are valued completely differently by investors and lenders every day? The difference often comes down to a CEO or finance executives storytelling acumen… or lack thereof.
An inordinate number of pre-IPO and publicly-traded companies that fail or under perform have one thing in common when you analyze their shortfalls. This interactive “case-study” presentation examines several, recent, high-profile corporate failures, and helps audiences understand what they all had in common – the wrong people in their boardrooms – and how their non-profit, family, private, or public companies can benefit from avoiding the same fate.
While skilled investor relations professionals do a terrific job of preparing management to meet with the buy-side, institutional investors view the world through a much different lens. And it’s a lens that many non-investors just aren’t great at understanding. When you couple this with the fact that many investor meetings are doomed before they start because of deficient websites, there is often an enormous disconnect between how CEO's perceive the success of investor meetings, and how the buy-side actually responds. This session provides practical takeaways from the perspective of a former institutional investor who has sat through 1000's of CEO presentations.
There have never been more seated and retired executives considering board service. Since the overwhelming majority of public companies are small-caps, that’s where most executives will end up. But small-cap companies are fraught with risks that most executives fail to take into account, and most executives – particularly those from larger company environments – have fanciful expectations of what it’s actually going to be like to serve on a small-cap board. This session accomplishes two goals: 1) it helps accomplished executives avoid damaging their reputations; and 2) it provides an actionable framework for executives to find the right board. Adam’s not speculating in this regard: he’s advised more small-cap boards than anyone else in the United States.
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
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
Best Selling Author
Adam wrote The Perfect Corporate Board: A Handbook for Mastering the Unique Challenges of Small-Cap Companies (McGraw Hill); it was the #1 ranked corporate governance book on Amazon.com in June 2017. In its review of The Perfect Corporate Board, Bloomberg Businessweek said: “Attention, directors of small-cap companies. Help is on the way.”
Adam was a contributing author to The Handbook of Board Governance: A Comprehensive Guide for Public, Private and Not for Profit Board Members (Wiley), which was the #1 “New Release” in corporate governance on Amazon.com when it was published in 2016. His chapter is entitled, “Systemically Overlooked Anomalies of Governing Small-Cap Companies.”
Adam also co-founded and wrote the “Entrepreneurial Governance” column in industry-leading Directorship magazine from 2012-2019.