As every middle-market audit firm will attest, audit committee resources and aptitude can vary dramatically from client to client. When coupled with highly disparate finance department depths and CFO experience, advising these clients in a one-size-fits-all manner is fraught with risk.
Third Creek’s clients routinely struggle with audit firms that: (a) interface inartfully with less experienced audit committees and finance departments; and (b) aren’t conversant in the full range of structured finance instruments plied by special situations investors in the small-cap ecosystem.
Adam’s speaking subjects are carefully crafted to help audit firm management, partners, senior auditors, and audit/staff managers to focus on the discrete areas that routinely cause small-cap companies to switch audit firms.
Speaking Topics Include:
Skill and intelligence notwithstanding, it’s not uncommon for small-cap audit committee members to have either no or minimal public company audit committee experience. Consequently, executive sessions with audit committees can be far less fulsome than they should be, which can exacerbate financial reporting risks. Do your firm’s partners and staff sufficiently understand today’s audit committee best practices so that the client-firm relationship can prosper despite disparate client-side experience, staffing, and resources?
Small-cap companies raise $30+ billion annually in the equity capital markets, and some of that capital raising results in highly structured equity and equity-linked instruments. Audit firms and audit committees regularly fail to appreciate the nuances and potential implications of these instruments, and clients react by choosing new audit firms. Take the opportunity to understand directly from a former special situation fund manager why instruments are structured the way they are, the mechanisms which typically result in defaults, and how firms/clients can more efficaciously administer complex financings.
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 writes the “Entrepeneurial Governance” column in industry-leading Directorship magazine.