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Life as you know it is IPOver
An open letter to bosses preparing for an initial public offering:


Things will always get much worse before they get better.
An IPO is like having a children: months of waiting, an agonizing of delivery and afterwards your world is never the same again.

The Flotation Process - immediate nightmare, a cross between an election campaign, a show trial and an Ironman event
* Put in place a suitable board of directors
* Nail down strategy
* Prepare legal and financial documents
* Tell a story (and sell it): Expect to visit up to 100 fund managers in a few weeks, and train yourself to say the same thing ten times a day, and to look profoundly interested as 30-something MBAs pick apart your life's work.


What differs a company as listed / not being listed?
* For CEOs of public companies, you need to block out a quarter of your diary for financial-results day (talks/speeches/meetings)
* You, as a CEO, are offering your company stocks via "sellside" analysts at investment banks to "buyside" analysts at asset-management firms.
* You have to be consistent and calm, while the investors, on the other hand, can do what they like.

Share price will be your performance indicators: your staff look at it, your investors look at it.
And investors:
* They will be abstract, obsessed with numbers and keen on comparing you with your competitors
* Karl Popper, said that scientific knowledge progressed through the falsification of hypothesis. Often it will feel like you are advancing hypothesis about your firm's opportunities, and they are just shooting them down.

What should a leader do after IPO, and see advantages of being listed?
* Keep voting control for protecting yourself
* Find trusted subordinates who can speak to the markets on your behalf
* Attract blue-chip funds
* Think deeply about your plan and stick to it

The advantages of being listed
* Use shares to buy rivals or raise more capital
* More easily tap the vast information machine of financial markets to gather intelligence

"So when you ring the bell at the stock exchange, remember to smile—and that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger."
finance  business  management 
12 weeks ago by upning
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