Small-cap investor conferences often have insightful presentations from attorneys, investment bankers, and investor relations professionals, but often the key perspective that’s lacking is from institutional investors. And, unfortunately, when institutional investors do speak at investor conferences they are sometimes tempted to “talk their book,” or subjectively shade their commentary to benefit their existing portfolio positions.
As a former institutional investor who co-managed a highly regarded special situation hedge fund that invested in more than 500 small-cap financings, Adam’s broad buy-side experience, frankness, and objectivity combine to make him a sought after conference keynote speaker.
Speaking Topics Include:
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 decidedly different lens that non-investors consistently struggle to intuit. In fact, some investor meetings are often doomed before they start due to company websites that contain nonstarters for experienced investors. Issuers can learn why the overwhelming majority of small-cap investor meetings don’t go nearly as well as management think, and they can walk away with some practical advice on how to eliminate myriad mistakes they didn’t even know they were making.
Small-cap companies raise in excess of $30 billion annually in the equity capital markets. The bad news is that special situation hedge funds benefit dramatically from repetitive capital markets mistakes made by small-cap issuers. These serial mistakes struggle to reach the light of day, because the status quo is profitable for various capital markets constituents. Bottom line: issuers are undertaking needlessly dilutive financings, wasting time and money meeting with investors who can’t and won’t buy their stock, and inartfully selecting and managing service providers who are hurting their shareholders. The good news is that all of these mistakes are avoidable with some frank, practical forethought.
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.