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.”
Seasoned small-cap fund managers are forensic observers: they parse everything they read and hear. Many have learned that small-caps are risky enough on a good day, but when the company is also run by a CEO who is a poor communicator, the risks escalate. Yet it’s amazing how few small-cap boards monitor and evaluate the […]
Lore has it that when Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page raised some $25 million from venture capital icons Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital in 1999, they promised they would hire a CEO to run the company. After announcing in July 2001 that Eric Schmidt would be CEO of Google, Brin and Page went […]
Every week I sit with small-cap board members who are confused by what they read in governance books and articles and hear at conferences. Sometimes I mention various experts that board members should consider reading or events they should consider attending, and the response is often the same: “Why would I do that, those people […]
We all know the names: Target, Equifax, Sony, Yahoo, Marriott. If you were directly affected by those cyber breaches, you might even remember where you were when you first learned about them. My first education about the scope and breadth of cybersecurity came in preparation for sharing the stage with Governor Tom Ridge at an […]
At the end of every year, I try to pass along to CEOs some of the best examples I came across from the preceding 12 months – examples of how and why better governed companies make more money. As my firm enters its ninth year of partnering with small-cap leaders, one thing I continue to […]