Adam is uniquely qualified to speak to lawyers since he’s not only a former large firm lawyer, in-house counsel, and institutional investor, but through Third Creek Advisors he is constantly in the boardrooms of high growth companies.
Third Creek’s pre-IPO and small-cap public company clients are routinely changing law firms, because they don’t feel like partners and associates understand enough about the unique challenges their businesses face.
Speaking Topics Include:
Boardroom legal advice has historically been focused on “culpability avoidance;” i.e., director adherence to relevant statutes and regulations. But institutional investors are laser focused in today’s capital markets on boards being strategic assets for shareholders. Therein lies a costly rub for law firms: the buy-side is increasingly investing in “governance excellence,” whereas many law firms unintentionally encourage “box-checking.” Boards know the difference; do your partners and associates?
The median post-money market cap of companies transacting their IPOs is approximately $500m; i.e., most IPOs are for small-cap companies. Activist shareholders predominantly target small-cap companies (approximately 75% of their campaigns). Everything about being a small-cap company has changed radically in the last five years – do your firm’s attorneys sufficiently understand how these capital markets and corporate governance transformations have changed your clients’ businesses?
Micro - and small-cap companies annually raise $30+ billion in the equity capital markets. But ask any special situation hedge fund manager and they’ll tell you that these companies serially undertake needlessly dilutive financings, and make myriad other capital markets mistakes. Does your firm, particularly your less tenured attorneys, sufficiently understand the unique capital markets challenges faced by your clients?
Special situation hedge funds and investment banks profit mightily from the status quo, but shareholders suffer dramatically. Your firm’s clients could materially outperform their peers’ financings, if they knew what the buy-side knows. Does your firm’s partners and associates understand the seminal role historic deal data plays in avoiding senseless dilution?
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
Op – Ed Piece Published April 2017
Adam's Guest Commentary:
The Erosion of Boardroom Lawyering
Publication: Corporate Governance Committee CGC Insight
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 “Entrepreneurial Governance” column in industry-leading Directorship magazine.