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Keeping Cori Gauff Healthy and Sane
July 2, 2019 | The New York Times | By Christopher Clarey.

Cori Gauff studies the map of her predecessors' pitfalls

Tennis has its latest prodigy in Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who upset Venus Williams, once a wonder child herself, in the first round of Wimbledon of Monday......The list [of child prodigies] is extensive, punctuated with cautionary tales. As tennis has become a more physically demanding sport, these breakout moments have been trending later.......Corey Gauff, the player’s father, longtime coach and the inspiration for his daughter’s name, has attempted to do what he can to help her chances of long-term success. One of his self-appointed tasks: studying tennis prodigies extensively......“I went through everybody I thought was relevant, that won Grand Slams and were good young,” ....“I went through every one of their situations and looked at where they were at a certain age, what they were doing. I asked a lot of questions, because I was concerned about burnout. Am I doing the right things?”....“I studied and studied to prepare myself to make sure if she was able to meet these goals that we’d be able to help the right way,” he said. “That was important. I still sit there and benchmark: ‘O.K., we’re at this point now. How is she doing physically? Is she growing? This is what Capriati did at this stage. This is what Hingis did at this stage, what the Williams sisters did at this stage.’”....Great stories, which prodigies continue to be, attract not just attention but money from sponsors. Parents and advisers can get more invested in success — and continued success — than the young player, and the result can be traumatic......Some precocious talents have experienced physical abuse,.....There is also the physical and mental toll of competing against older, potentially stronger opposition......“The main thing I looked at was how do you prevent injury,”.........The family has sought frequent outside counsel: “It’s honestly been a village of coaches,” he said.

Cori Gauff chose to sign with Team8, the agency started by Roger Federer and his longtime agent Tony Godsick, in part because the Gauffs believed a long-term approach had worked well for Federer, who turned pro at 17 and is still winning titles at 37.
African-Americans  athletes_&_athletics  benchmarking  cautionary_tales  dark_side  due_diligence  injury_prevention  long-term  outside_counsel  parenting  pitfalls  precociousness  prodigies  sports  systematic_approaches  teenagers  tennis  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO
April 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.
Dig up dirt on the competition and board members, and buy to hold long-term.......How do you know which IPOs to buy? No, not to trade—you’d never get it right. Lyft priced at $72, traded at $85 on its first day, then closed at $78, only to fall to $67 on its second day. It’s now $74. I’m talking about buying and holding for a few years. Yes I know, how quaint.

The trick is to read the prospectus. What are you, crazy? That’s a couple hundred pages. Well, not the whole thing. But remember, where the stock trades on its first day is noise....... So understanding long-term prospects are critical. Here are a few shortcuts.

(1) First, glance at the underwriters along the bottom of the cover. On the top line are the banks putting their reputation on the line. If the one on the far left is Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan , you’re probably OK.
(2) open the management section and study the directors. Forget the venture capitalists or strategic partners with board seats—they have their own agendas. Non-employee directors are the ones who are supposed to be representing you, the public investor. And their value depends on their experience.
(3) OK, now figure out what the company does. You can watch the roadshow video, look at prospectus pictures, and skim the offering’s Business section. Now ignore most of that. Underwriters are often terrible at positioning companies to the market.......when positioning companies, only three things matter: a monster market; an unfair competitive advantage like patents, algorithms or a network effect; and a business model to leverage that advantage. Look for those. If you can’t find them, pass. Commodities the Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Companies are forced to give detailed descriptions of each of their sectors and products or services. Then flip back and forth to the Financials, looking at the items on the income statement and matching them up with the operations being discussed. Figure out what the company might look like in five years. And use my “10x” rule: Lyft is worth $25 billion—can they make $2.5 billion after-tax someday? Finally there’s the Risk section, which is mostly boilerplate but can contain good dirt on competition.
(4) Put the prospectus away and save it as a souvenir. Try to figure out the real story of the company. Do some digging.
(5) My final advice: Never, ever put in a market order for shares on the first day of an IPO.
10x  advice  algorithms  Andy_Kessler  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business_models  competitive_advantage  deception  due_diligence  howto  IPOs  large_markets  long-term  Lyft  network_effects  noise  patents  positioning  prospectuses  risks  stock_picking  think_threes  Uber  underwriting  unfair_advantages 
april 2019 by jerryking
Buying Competitive Advantage - YouTube
"clock speed"
privileged insights = unfair advantages
value-creation plans

Due diligence helps create privileged insight which needs to be tied to a value creation plan that helps you to achieve it.
competitive_advantage  KPMG  proprietary  insights  customer_insights  clock_speed  value_creation  due_diligence  unfair_advantages 
may 2017 by jerryking
Philanthropy in Silicon Valley: Big Bets on Big Ideas - The New York Times
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
philanthropy  Silicon_Valley  due_diligence  moonshots  big_bets 
november 2016 by jerryking
'Virtual fieldwork' is no substitute for travel
Oct. 10, 2015| FT | Tyler Brule
From time to time this column takes on the part-time role of concierge for its readers. The requests that come across this desk are not unlike those that greet the men...
travel  due_diligence  concierge_services  market_research  sleuthing  primary_field_research  research_methods  Tyler_Brûlé  interpretation  forecasting 
november 2015 by jerryking
Want to land a big client? Here are four important tips - The Globe and Mail
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Tuesday, Aug. 12 2014

Study them

Landing a big client isn’t about you. Let me say that again: It is not about you.... remember that to succeed, you must help your client succeed. How do you do that? Study everything you can about the client until you fully understand the business, strategies and objectives.

Next, clearly define how your product or service will help the company achieve its goals. If you can identify a problem or isolate areas for improvement, then you can clearly illustrate your ability to provide a unique solution.

Make the connection. to land that enterprise client, try to identify your Norgay or Hillary. Talking to the wrong people wastes valuable time. However, if you can create a relationship with a strategic partner, that person can help get you in front of the right people and into the necessary meetings – all the more quickly than you could do on your own. Your target client is Mount Everest. Start climbing.
Gain influence

“An enterprise client needs to be convinced that working with your company is the best decision they could ever make,” says Karthik Manimozh, president and COO of 1-Page. “One of the most effective ways to help them arrive at this conclusion is to let your reputation precede you.”

The leadership, prestige and visibility that your company wields in the marketplace are all key factors that influence buying decisions. The answers your potential enterprise client seeks rest on your ability to shape your story. Good PR and marketing is the foundation. Strategic networking and social proof are pillars.

Remember, influence is something that comes with hard work...Be everywhere; talk with everyone (but ensure your conversations are informative and upbeat, never desperate).

Persevere through tough times

It can take months or even more than a year to land an enterprise client. Nothing worth having comes easy.

During that time, you’re bound to find yourself in countless meetings, possibly caught up in the middle of office politics, or jumping through hoops as the legal and procurement departments vet your company. Don’t dismay. This is par for the course when trying to land an enterprise client.
solutions  solution-finders  marketing  business_development  tips  indispensable  influence  networking  JCK  due_diligence  large_companies  perseverance  Communicating_&_Connecting  value_propositions  serving_others  strategic_thinking  client_development  hard_work  enterprise_clients  hard_times  office_politics  Michael_McDerment  the_right_people 
august 2014 by jerryking
Traders Seek an Edge With High-Tech Snooping -
Dec. 18, 2013 | WSJ | By Michael Rothfeld and Scott Patterson.

A growing industry uses surveillance and data-crunching technology to supply traders with nonpublic information.

Genscape's clients include banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, hedge funds including Citadel LLC and large energy-trading outfits such as Trafigura Beheer BV. Surveillance and analysis of the oil, electricity and natural-gas sectors can run Genscape clients more than $300,000 a year.
surveillance  data_driven  slight_edge  traders  hedge_funds  sleuthing  Genscape  sensors  commodities  corporate_espionage  competitive_intelligence  scuttlebutt  due_diligence  market_research  exclusivity  investment_research  research_methods  LBMA  nonpublic  primary_field_research  banks  Citadel  oil_industry  natural_gas  snooping  alternative_data  informational_advantages  imagery  satellites  infrared  electric_power 
december 2013 by jerryking
Before the Job Interview, Do Your Homework -
June 1, 2013 | NYT | By EILENE ZIMMERMAN

“Know the major industry trends and news,” he says, and be able to talk about how they could affect the company.

Find out who runs the company and how they got there. “Look at their profiles on LinkedIn and see if you find a common bond,” says David Lewis, the chief executive of OperationsInc., a human resources outsourcing and consulting firm in Norwalk, Conn. “If you are able to say, ‘I went to the same college as you’ or ‘I also majored in psychology,’ that demonstrates you really did your homework.”

Familiarize yourself with the company’s products or services and look for ways, even small ones, to possibly expand or add value. Note the positives, then talk about opportunities you see, says Moses Lee, C.E.O. of Seelio, a platform that lets students and recent college graduates post samples of their work and search for jobs.
interview_preparation  interviews  Managing_Your_Career  due_diligence 
june 2013 by jerryking
Flight Risks
November 2005 | Worth | by Dan Rosen.

Angel investors often get caught up with charismatic and passionate entrepreneurs. It‘s the joy and the danger of angel investing. For angel investing to work, investors and entrepreneurs need that shared passion and vision. But angel investing is not for the faint of heart. Seedstage investments tie up your money for a long time because you are investing early in the life of a company whose typical gestation period is six to eight years. No individual can do (nor does a relatively modest investment justify) the depth of analysis and due diligence that professional investors such as venture capitalists conduct; that often makes decisions difficult. And the likelihood that several additional rounds of financing will follow your initial investment and dilute your stake causes a large financial risk....Know your strengths, weaknesses and desires. If they don‘t match angel investing, don’t do it. If they do, have Fun.
angels  due_diligence  illiquidity  start_ups  financial_risk  risks  passions  strengths  early-stage  weaknesses  self-awareness 
march 2013 by jerryking
What are the first three questions you should ask before investing in a private company? - Institute for Individual Investors
February 22, 2008

1) What is the background of the key people in this business and what have they each accomplished in this type of business in the past? As part of that question, what is their best accomplishment and what is the worst mistake they have made in business?
2)What competitive advantages does the business have? The competitive advantages should be laid out in the business plan.
3)What could go wrong and prevent the start-up from achieving its goals? If the key people do not have a list of what could go wrong, you should not invest in the start-up, because they have not done a thorough job of planning to make the start-up successful.
angels  due_diligence  privately_held_companies  thinking_tragically  think_threes  team_risk  investing  investors  questions  competitive_advantage 
march 2013 by jerryking
A Turnaround Job Can Make Your Career If You Choose Wisely
Sep. 19, 1995 | WSJ | HAL LANCASTER.

It's an age-old dilemma: Saving a sinking ship can make a career; but some ships can't be salvaged, and a high-profile failure can scuttle a promising career. (Yes, I know failures aren't supposed to be fatal any more because companies realize what valuable learning experiences they are. If you want fairy tales, you'll have to look elsewhere.)

So when is it prudent to take on a tough turnaround assignment? ... And how would she advise others weighing the risks of a turnaround assignment? Research, research and research, she says, and then go with your gut instinct. ``There's a point at which you have enough information to act,'' she says. ``If you wait to get everything, you're too late.''

If that philosophy doesn't work for you, try this one, from Gen. Colin Powell's list of rules to live by, which Ms. Lewis keeps on her office wall: ``Don't let adverse facts get in the way of a good decision.''
career-defining_moments  career_ending_moves  Colin_Powell  collectibles  decline  due_diligence  failure  gut_feelings  Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  risks  turnarounds  women 
february 2013 by jerryking
Hiring Outside Advisers Is as Important as Hiring Employees -
January 24, 2013, 1:00 pmComment
Hiring Outside Advisers Is as Important as Hiring Employees
running_a_business  hiring  management_consulting  small_business  due_diligence 
january 2013 by jerryking
Creditors from hell
September 2005 | Chain Leader | by David Farkas
turnarounds  hedge_funds  creditors  due_diligence 
september 2012 by jerryking
Key differences between hedge funds and private equity
Mar/Apr 2006 | The Secured Lender Vo|. 62, Iss. 2; pg‘ 26. 3 pgs| by Mark K Thomas. Peter J. Young.

The last few years have brought an explosion in the number and size of hedge funds. Additionally, recent deals by private equity funds are much larger than in the past and include taking publicly traded companies private. Although these funds do not represent long-term threats to each other, secured lenders must recognize that private equity and hedge funds have markedly different characteristics. goals and behaviors. Major differences between the two types of funds include: 1. time to hold. 2‘ liquidity and leverage, 3. strategic direction, 4. due diligence methodology. 5. risk tolerance, 6. mark to market, 7. desired return on investments. 8. control, 9. assessment of EBITDA, leverage, liquidity and other standard financial metrics. 10. industry focus, and 11. management fees. Knowing the major differences between the types of funds will enable a secured lender to anticipate behavior in transactions
involving both types of funds.
private_equity  hedge_funds  venture_capital  holding_periods  liquidity  leverage  due_diligence  risk-tolerance 
september 2012 by jerryking
Due diligence work assures an informed decision
May/Jun 2001 | Business Owner .Vol.25. Iss. 3; pg. 13 | Anonymous.

There is a great deal of time and energy expended in buying a business both before and after the closingv The period from your initial meeting to actual closing usually covers 90 to 180 days and the post-closing transition
period can extend over 6 months to one year. Be aware of the time required; you and your executives must set aside that time to meet your commitments in negotiating and closing a deal. There is basic information you will need to properly analyze and value the to-be-acquired company. including: 1. the information needed to help you determine your preliminary interest before proceeding with the negotiations; 2. the work to do on a financial justification for purchasing the company; and 3. the pre-closing documentation when you are getting ready to finalize the price, payment terms, transition and payment schedules, etc.
decision_making  due_diligence  owners 
september 2012 by jerryking
Picking the competition's brains for deal insight
September 2002 | Mergers and Acquisitions | Thomas E. Austin.

Focuses on the use of market research for acquisitions and mergers in the U.S. Types of market due diligence studies; Approaches for conducting market due diligence; Tips in interviewing competitors.
competitive_intelligence  due_diligence  interviews  M&A  market_research  mergers_&_acquisitions  tips 
september 2012 by jerryking
Deals Close Faster With Due Diligence Filters
May 1, 2000 | Venture Capital Journal | William Zucker.

From Introduction capital's 7th annual Canadian Alternative Investment Forum

Values and ensuring ethical alignment, time horizon or milestone alignment.
Bewares partners piggybacking continuously on your DD.
Can your involvement add value to a project? If not personally, are there people in your network who cans how you holes that you cannot see?

Look at the financial return, the quality of the asset, the quality of management.
due_diligence  deal-making  venture_capital  vc  start_ups  business_planning  trends  CAIF  speed  time_horizons 
september 2012 by jerryking
Due Diligence Gets Tougher: A loose term now means a whole lot more work
Aug 5. 2002 | The Investment Dealers’ Digest | by Barbara Etzel.

What constitutes enough due diligence anyway? It may be vague enough for attorneys to argue about, but there is no doubt that the bar has just been raised due to the steady diet of scandals and investors' mistrust of Wall Street. Attorneys say that the level of due diligence will continue to increase. That is because it will be up to advisers on all types of deals, stock and bond offerings as well as mergers and acquisitions, to make certain the company is complying with all the new laws that are being instituted. Corporations will need a policy for setting up internal controls and to have an independent audit committee. Their top officers will be required to certify the accuracy of their financial results, and those who falsely do so will face jail time and million-dollar fines. Companies will also be taking a closer look at their internal disclosure policies. That means that underwriters and their attorneys must understand what the company's policies are and make certain they are following them.
due_diligence  scandals  Wall_Street  investors  mistrust  financial_advisors  internal_controls  audits  disclosure 
september 2012 by jerryking
Rho Ventures Archived News - 2004
November 29, 2004 | Investment Dealers' Digest | by: Avital Louria Hahn
due_diligence  online  growth 
september 2012 by jerryking
Look before you leap
October/November 2004 | Canadian TREASURER | Ron Schwartz & Larry Marker
august 2012 by jerryking
Want an edge? Call the CEO - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 03 2012 | The Globe and Mail | FABRICE TAYLOR.

Investing is a game of scarce advantages, yet an edge is difficult to come by in the stock market. You certainly don’t get one by just reading financial statements. A million others are doing that. Ditto with screening tools. They’re useful as a starting point but. again, they’re not exclusive to you.

It’s the same with the Internet. Any monkey can Google, so you’re not going to get an edge by spending hours scouring the darkest corners of the Web.

The only thing that can give you an edge is making connections that few others have, or interpreting what sources say to you.... No matter how much you read, how much time you spend, how elaborate your Excel model, you will never understand a business better than the CEO. Not only do they live and breath their work every day, and likely have for years, they also have information you don’t have. What you look at – the latest results – are dated. He or she has real time and, in fact, advance data.

Q1:one of my favourites is: “Who is the best analyst on your stock and why?”
Q2: Another good question for a CEO who doesn’t appear too promotional is whether it’s a good time to attract a lot of investor attention.

Sponge up insights about their companies and their suppliers, competitors and customers, as well as coming technological changes that could hurt or help a business....investing in one company on the basis of ideas received from another is a “bank shot,” like a basketball bouncing into the hoop. “The ability to look beyond just the numbers to see all different types of bank shots is something that can’t be replicated by a spreadsheet,”
slight_edge  CEOs  due_diligence  proprietary  informational_advantages  Communicating_&_Connecting  interpretation  real-time  questions  humint  financial_statements  insights  exclusivity  personal_knowledge  personal_connections  personal_meetings  personal_relationships  technological_change  bank_shots 
july 2012 by jerryking
Be an Optimistic Skeptic When You're Buying a Business
Sep 1990 | Profit - Building Strategies for Business Owners | Anonymous

Even those who are experienced in acquisitions should be very careful when considering the purchase of a business. The best approach is to form a team with such professional advisers as an accountant. attorney. and appraiser. The best attitude for checking on a prospective business purchase is optimistic skepticism, which should start with an investigation of the seller's reason for selling the business An inspection of the physical plant will provide information about whether it is in need of alteration, its accessibility to public transportation, and the age of plant equipment. Prospective buyers should learn as much as they can about the company's finances, including information about recent sales and expenses. Special attention should be paid to factors that might affect future success such as key employees‘ willingness to remain on the job and customers‘ loyalty to the firm. The attorney and accountant will probe further for details so that a contract can be signed with confidence.
buying_a_business  entrepreneurship  lawyers  negotiations  mergers_&_acquisitions  skepticism  due_diligence 
june 2012 by jerryking
ASAP Interview_Don Valentine
Forbes ASAP | by Rich Karlgaard.

The great thing about evaluating markets first is that usually there are very poor data sources. So you have to create these scraps of information and most people don't do that--they prefer to make a judgement on some other basis, whether the product is patentable, whether the technology is differentiated, whether the people are world class. To us, you can scrape and push and dig and find out tidbits of information which when you put them together, you get a conviction about when something will happen. You talk to people in distribution, you talk to all the sources of information that you can, and you make a judgment....Are you solving a problem? Are there great installations of incompatibility that need to be linked? Who cares about this product? and do they care with a time frame that's important to us--eight years, the length of a fund?...To me, the most important person in management beyond the president has always been the sales manager. I want to meet and get comfortable with the guy who is going to create the backlog. This is different that marketing. Marketing runs the company, as it should, but it is the sales department that creates the orders and creates the cash-flow. So the sales manager is always a very important character to me, much more important that a log of other people. They must be relentless, driven and have enormous energy. Winning is terribly important to them, Where we've had great successes with companies, we've had great sales managers. Where we've had mediocre success with companies, we've had mediocre sakes managers. Nothing happens if you don't get a backlog.
Sequoia  Don_Valentine  Rich_Karlgaard  due_diligence  sleuthing  information_sources  sales  tacit_data  scuttlebutt  incompatibilities  primary_field_research 
june 2012 by jerryking
Is Sourcing in China Safe? | China Business Success Stories
December 12th, 2007 |by China Business Success Stories By Rebecca A. Morgan.
China  manufacturers  due_diligence  risks  product_quality  sourcing 
june 2012 by jerryking
Advice straight from the dragon's mouth -
May 25, 2005 | FT | By Doug Richard. ask Kemp these questions.

*Ask what problem is being solved with your product or service

*Talk to potential customers to understand the problem

*Know the cost to customers of the problem you are trying to solve so that you get your pricing right

*Define your customers as a group linked by a common problem

*Keep the business simple and focused on one mission and one target

*Protect your ideas where possible
angels  entrepreneur  start_ups  due_diligence  problem_definition  questions  simplicity  cost_of_inaction  problems  problem_awareness  awareness  consumer_awareness 
may 2012 by jerryking
Finding Info on a Unique Business -
June 6, 2006 | WSJ | Kelly Spors. When the Business You Want To Buy Is Hard to Find.

Many business buyers now search for acquisition opportunities online, but it does little good when seeking a rather unique business....Telephone everyone you can, mention the type of business you're seeking and ask whom they know who might be looking to sell. Even if they can't think of anyone, they may put you in touch with someone who can.
Kelly_K._Spors  buying_a_business  due_diligence  market_research  one-of-a-kind  uniqueness  hard_to_find 
may 2012 by jerryking
Crovitz: Before 'Watergate' Could be Googled -
April 17, 2012 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Before 'Watergate' Could be Googled
The Internet is no substitute for hands-on reporting.

"Watergate 4.0: How Would the Story Unfold in the Digital Age?" Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein gave their assessment at the annual American Society of News Editors conference this month by referring to how Yale students answer a similar question assigned in an advanced journalism class.

Mr. Woodward said he was shocked by how otherwise savvy students thought technology would have changed everything....Bob Woodward contrasted the reporting goal of "advancing the story and providing new information" with using the Web to find or distribute already-known facts.

He also doubted that "tweeting and blogging would have created an immediate avalanche of public opinion." It took more than two years between the Watergate break-in and Richard Nixon's resignation, including special prosecutors, Senate hearings and a Supreme Court order to the White House to turn over secret tapes.

Mr. Woodward concludes that the Internet is "not that magic and it doesn't always shine that bright." It's a great tool for research, including for linking data that before might have been public but was hard to put together.

Like this columnist
Watergate  scandals  scuttlebutt  due_diligence  journalists  hands-on  legwork  journalism  Bob_Woodward  Carl_Bernstein  digital_media  public_opinion  Yale  Colleges_&_Universities  investigative_journalism  students  technology  digital_savvy 
april 2012 by jerryking
Adequate Due Diligence: Are You Sure?
Fall 2002 | Journal of Private Equity | by Michael J. Hausman.

Review of:
(a) Prior acquisitions and/or acquisition strategies;
(b) Profitability by product line;
(c) Historical and projected financial results;
(d) current status of the industry (or industries) in which the company operates;
(e) existing customer relationships.
automotive_industry  due_diligence  distressed_debt  restructurings 
april 2012 by jerryking
Why Your Target's Is a Good Read
Sept. 2004 | | Mergers & Acquisitions: The Dealermaker's Journal, 00260010, , Vol. 39, Issue 9 | By:David K. Thornquist

Traditional due diligence focuses on reviewing board minutes, reports, financials, sales forecasts, and other writings that are fully vetted. This is supplemented by interviews with managers who answer questions to the best of their ability, but with the caveat that management can't have complete knowledge of everything and everyone under their watch. And individual managers may have a host of motives and objectives that prompt answers that are not fully candid.
Uncovering the real story

Traditional due diligence, however, typically ignores email, the lifeblood of an efficiently run business. The spontaneous and unpolished nature of e-mail presents the most candid view of what is really going on in a company. It provides context. It also can fly in the face of the fully vetted printed record offered by a company under the due diligence microscope.
due_diligence  M&A  e-mail  e-discovery  scuttlebutt  unstructured_data  tacit_data  contextual 
march 2012 by jerryking
Down and Dirty Due Diligence, Part II:
Summer 2001 |The Journal of Private Equity Vol. 4, No. 3: pp. 7-14
Allan Bee Smithee
november 2011 by jerryking
Down and Dirty Due Diligence:
Summer 2001 |The Journal of Private Equity Vol. 4, No. 3: pp. 5-12

Allan Bee Smithee
november 2011 by jerryking
Marketing Due Diligence: Short Shrift from Buyout Firms
Fall 1998| The Journal of Private Equity Vol.pp. 17-21|
Warren A . Dechter
due_diligence  private_equity 
november 2011 by jerryking
High net worth families using credit in innovative and strategic ways - The Globe and Mail
A Special Information Feature brought to you by
RBC Wealth Management
High net worth families using credit in innovative and strategic ways
Published Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 1:20PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Nov. 03, 2011
CAFE  high_net_worth  credit  due_diligence  wealth_management  RBC 
november 2011 by jerryking
Due diligence
Apr. 1997 | CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine. 71.3 (): p17.| James G. Webster.

...Woodgate's own process of due diligence started with market conditions and customers, and then worked back through the product line to manufacturing and technology issues and, finally, to detailed financial information, which he believes was the right sequence for someone coming in from the outside.

They conducted an in-depth analysis of the market, sales history, channels of distribution, competition, customer base, and growth opportunities. The profitability and cash flow generated by each product line was analysed, as was the need for product rationalization and investment in technology....After comparing the company's products with those of the competition and interviewing four of Allanson's customers, it was concluded that the company's products were competitive in terms of quality, cost and technology. In fact, Allanson dominated the Canadian market and had a significant share of the U.S. market....Analysis of the size and dynamics of the electric sign industry was based mainly on a detailed report contained in Woodgate's business plan. The report's findings indicated that the market for the company's electric sign products had stabilized and there was reasonable growth potential for Allanson. The statistics and premises of this report were confirmed by independent sources....Woodgate says his most important asset throughout the process was his team of consultants. "Perhaps the greatest test of their skills lies in the last five per cent [JCK: i.e. last_minute] of the due diligence process when important problems sometimes arise with the potential to kill the deal. The buyer, at this stage, has become emotionally committed to the deal and is in no position to assess danger in a balanced, thoughtful way.
buying_a_business  cash_flows  dispassion  due_diligence  emotional_commitment  emotional_connections  howto  last_minute  product_portfolios  product_profitability  RoyNat  unsentimental 
november 2011 by jerryking
Wealth Matters - The Rules That Madoff’s Investors Ignored -
January 6, 2009 | | By PAUL SULLIVAN.

THE 10 PERCENT RULE The saddest Madoff stories are the ones about life savings lost. These were people who had, say, $5 million in one of his funds and now have nothing. Honestly, the people themselves need to bear some responsibility for this. The most basic book on investing will tell you never to put more than 5 or 10 percent into any one investment, particularly one meant to preserve wealth…Having a concentrated stock position when you’re working for a company is sometimes unavoidable. If you were a senior executive at Lehman or Bear Stearns, a part of your bonus was paid in shares, and such restricted stock needs to be held for a period of time, generally two to seven years. Having a concentrated position in other circumstances, however, is foolish. Any responsible wealth manager works to reduce or hedge a person’s concentrated stock position. With Mr. Madoff, investors went the other way and added money year after year. Discipline is key: stick to 10 percent or less and remember that any investment can go bust.
CONSISTENCY IS BAD - Consistency at the highest level isn’t bad; it’s impossible. There are too many variables that inhibit being great on a regular basis.
THE GRAND FALLOON Kurt Vonnegut coined this phrase in “Cat’s Cradle,” and never did it have a more devastating application than in the Madoff scheme. In Vonnegut’s world, a grand falloon was a false association mistaken for friendship — two people from the same town, same university, same company meet somewhere and believe that coincidental connection has significant meaning. It doesn’t, no more so than belonging to the Palm Beach Country Club or the Fifth Avenue Synagogue did for those who used their proximity to Mr. Madoff to coax him into taking their money.
This is a crucial point particularly in opaque investments, from hedge funds to private equity partnerships: just because someone is a good golfer does not mean he should be trusted to invest your money. Private bankers are forever telling their clients not to try to get into someone’s hedge fund just because you enjoyed their conversation on the course — or, worse, want to play with them again. Like taking care of your health, picking an investment adviser should be done with the utmost rigor.
‘DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL’ - Ask questions and don’t assume the person who brings an investment to you has vetted it. Nothing in which you are putting millions of dollars is so wonderful that it cannot withstand scrutiny.
PUT MONEY IN BUCKETS - follow the popular wisdom of private bank investment strategists: divide your money into buckets to insure the money you need to live on will always be safe. Most strategists advise putting your riskiest assets into your philanthropy bucket.
Bernard_Madoff  high_net_worth  fraud  mistakes  opacity  friendships  trustworthiness  diversification  biases  personal_finance  financial_planning  grand_falloon  wealth_management  concentrated_stock_positions  high-risk  philanthropy  due_diligence  passions  passion_investing  impact_investing 
october 2011 by jerryking
Your business wants my money? Good luck - The Globe and Mail
doug steiner
Special to Globe and Mail Update
Published Thursday, Jul. 22, 2010

The people who ask me out for coffee usually want help on the funding side of their business — meaning me providing funding to them.

Let me speak for many others in my shoes: You have about a 1-per-cent chance of getting my money. That means you may have to pitch your idea to hundreds of people to have a real shot at raising any dough. Why is listening to business ideas a somewhat cranky subject? Mostly because the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who do this for a living fail a lot. I’ve personally funded a lot more duds than successes, although my success rate is climbing as I age.

...In my genuine attempts to help people, I have to be frank, and sometimes brutally honest. That can come across as mean, but there’s a method to my meanness. I have a photocopy of a sheet titled “77 Questions Every Business Plan Should Answer.” I don’t remember who gave it to me, or who to credit, but there are a lot of variations of it online.

I give the sheet to every budding, uninformed optimist who tells me they want to do the marathon run from idea-on-a-napkin to multimillionaire. It’s a pretty sobering document.
Doug_Steiner  angels  due_diligence  boards_&_directors_&_governance  success_rates  candour 
october 2011 by jerryking
Keeping it Real
Nov. 2007 | | by Heidi Staseson. So what type of
prospect does McCullough look for? It’s
simple: people who want advice; who are willing to pay for it; and who
share basic values of integrity. There shouldn’t be a
grimace when the phone rings. “You want to feel good about all your
clients. And we do,” McCullough adds.
While some view life as a work in progress, McCullough seems to view it
as a work in lessons. He’s much more
evaluative now than in his early days in the brokerage industry.
Although never exactly a people pleaser, he says he was perhaps a bit
naive at the beginning. “I early on believed people had the best of
intentions before checking the facts. I learned over time it’s amazing
how people spin things,” he says. “Now I don’t automatically believe
people. I listen to them, and then I check facts.” Building a family
office has an actual value,” says McCullough. For him, value comes with
integrity, initiative, & the ability to challenge--yes men are a big
Northwood  Tom_McCullough  family_office  tips  prospecting  individual_initiative  due_diligence  integrity  speak_truth_to_power  independent_viewpoints  skepticism 
september 2011 by jerryking
Venture Capital Investors, Lesson Learned, Do More Homework -
August 9, 2011

the market for investing in tech start-ups remains white-hot. Still,
some investors are proceeding with extreme caution.

Saying they learned their lesson in the dot-com boom and bust, and the
2008 recession, the institutional investors — pension funds, university
endowments and foundations — that put money in venture capital funds are
more selectively choosing the firms in which they invest, doing
exhaustive research before handing over money, and in some cases driving
hard bargains for more favorable management fees and shares of profits.
cautionary_tales  venture_capital  vc  limited_partnerships  due_diligence  investment_research  Claire_Cain_Miller  institutional_investors  selectivity  pension_funds  endowments  foundations  lessons_learned  bubbles  economic_downturn 
august 2011 by jerryking
Jules Kroll shakes up the ratings club
January 29, 2011 | CTV News | JOANNA SLATER. Mr. Kroll, 69,
is bringing his investigative chops to a new business: credit ratings.
It’s a corner of finance that remains indispensable even after the
leading agencies did a woeful job of gauging risks in the runup to the
financial crisis.

As banks packaged dicey loans into new investments, the major ratings
agencies affirmed that the structures were ultrasafe – until, of course,
it turned out they weren’t. That experience so scorched investors that
the market for such structures remains moribund to this day.

“The fans left the stadium a couple years ago,” says Mr. Kroll, a
gregarious one-time baseball and rugby player. “They didn’t feel they
could trust the referees or the scorekeeper.” The firm he now heads,
Kroll Bond Rating Agency Inc., aims to remedy that lack of confidence.
confidence  credit-ratings  due_diligence  Jules_Kroll  Kroll  new_businesses  risk-analysis  risk-assessment 
april 2011 by jerryking
Private Venture Investing: “Questions an Investor Should Ask”
1998 | written by Cam Crawford from Coakwell Moore Chartered
Accountants-Management Consultants of High River, Alberta, with the
assistance of Sue Bannerman from INT Associates Inc.-Management and
Training Consultants of Olds, Alberta.
angels  due_diligence  investing  questions  privately_held_companies  investors 
december 2010 by jerryking
Angel investors get cautious about which startups to nurture
Aug 30, 2002. | Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. |
Jennifer Pittman. A caveat: It can be extremely difficult to secure a
second round of funding, If Round 2 doesn't come in time, angels risk
losing an investment. This reinforces the importance of due
diligence.......For angel investors who have been in the game awhile,
taking advantage of opportunities today is hampered by the lack of
liquidity events for previous investments. They often have to decide
between making new investments and supporting their old investments with
more cash.
angels  decision_making  due_diligence  funding  investing  investors  liquidity_events  ProQuest 
december 2010 by jerryking
How Angel Investors Get Their Wings
April 17, 2008 | Business Week | by Chris Farrell. "While many
angels are current or former entrepreneurs, and that background can
prove invaluable, they also need to develop investing skills. The
successful angel adheres to the same disciplines that make for a good
investor, from Berkshire Hathaway's ("BRK-A") Warren Buffett to Yale
University's David Swensen. Understand the risks. Follow an intellectual
framework. Have a well-thought-out methodology for buying and selling.
Do due diligence. Diversify. "Angel investing isn't easy, and it's very
high risk," says Tony Stanco, executive director of both the National
Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and of Angel Investors of
Greater Washington. "But it's high reward." "
angels  David_Swensen  diversification  due_diligence  frameworks  high-reward  investing  investors  process-orientation  risks  self-discipline  systematic_approaches  Warren_Buffett 
december 2010 by jerryking
How to Kill Innovation: Keep Asking Questions - Scott Anthony - Harvard Business Review
February 25, 2010 | HBR | by Scott Anthony . Resource-rich
companies have the "luxury" of researching and researching problems.
That can be a huge benefit in known markets where precision matters. But
it can be a huge limitation in unknown markets where precision is
impossible and attempts to create it through analysis are quixotic.
Entrepreneurs don't have the luxury of asking "What about..." questions,
and in disruptive circumstances that works in their favor.
questions  Scott_Anthony  innovation  HBR  Innosight  due_diligence  information_gaps  market_sizing  uncertainty  unknowns  cost_of_inaction 
march 2010 by jerryking
Kraft Foods Works on Improving Its Recipe for Logistics in China -
AUGUST 2, 2004 | Wall Street Journal | By CUI RONG, Staff
Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Kraft Foods Works on Improving Its
Recipe for Logistics in China
Kraft  China  logistics  pilfering  due_diligence 
march 2010 by jerryking
Get smart: scooping the competition in six easy steps—without breaking the law | Managing | Strategy | Canadian Business Online
December 27, 2004 | From Canadian Business Online |
Gathering competitive intelligence is all too often confused with
corporate espionage, but practitioners say it really has nothing to do
with planting a mole inside your competitor's HQ or hacking into a
computer system. After all, that's against the law. Still, there are
perfectly legal, ethical and effective ways to find out what your
competitors are doing.
competitive_intelligence  scuttlebutt  due_diligence  market_research  sleuthing  moles 
february 2010 by jerryking
Opening doors
Feb. 20, 2010 | Globe & Mail | WALLACE IMMEN. "Googling" a
company isn't enough- everyone does that. A source of insider info. is
your local librarian. S/he can help you access business data bases,
trade journals, newspapers and annual reports that aren't available free
anywhere else. Also, scope out competitors of the company you hope to
work for and informally contact current or former employees of either
your target company or a competitor who might give an idea of the
corporate culture & priorities of mgmt. Research the hiring mgr. via
LinkedIn & Facebook to find clues to the person's hobby or
charitable interests...Turn tables on the interviewer...respond with:
"I've been doing some research on your company and the industry."
After mentioning a challenge you've found the company is facing, follow
up with something like: "I can completely relate to that issue and, in
fact, I faced it many times when I was in my previous role." Talk about
how you see it creates an opportunity.
interview_preparation  job_search  Wallace_Immen  due_diligence  scuttlebutt  Managing_Your_Career  libraries 
february 2010 by jerryking
Finding exclusive information is tough, but rewarding
May 28, 2005 | Globe & Mail | by AVNER MANDELMAN. Superior
investment information must be triple-good: It must be true, important
and exclusive. "We called or met 13 HTE clients, which took two months,
and a dozen low- and mid-level employees, which took another month.
Because the latter live paycheque to paycheque, they take pains to learn
how their company is really doing. What we learned was crucial -- few
things are more important than clients' opinions. And it was exclusive,
no one else talked to the workers and clients."
exclusivity  sleuthing  due_diligence  Avner_Mandelman  investment_research  inequality_of_information  scuttlebutt  primary_field_research  personal_knowledge  personal_connections  personal_meetings  personal_relationships 
february 2010 by jerryking
How to tell good buys from bad: Talk to people, trust your gut
Jun 3, 2006 | Globe & Mail | by Avner Mandelman. 2 mths
ago Giraffe put an ad in RoB, looking for a research analyst. We asked
for a 1-pg. résumé, a half-pg. letter, and a 1-pg. tech stock pick/pan.
All presented themselves well, and some even gave interesting stock
picks/pans. Two things were missing: First, nearly all had based their
analysis on public, 2nd-hand data -- the kind that everyone else sees
also. Very few did primary field research and none thought it important
to highlight exclusive info. Instead, the recommendations were rife
with data copied from the Web, corporate filings or famous analysts'
reports. The interviewees saw their role as financial scientists
massaging data gathered by others, rather than gatherers of exclusive
info themselves. Second, very few spoke of the company's people: the
character of their pick's CEO, the trustworthiness of the CFO, or the
high integrity of the company's team viz. a viz the competition. This
lack of people-mention was glaring.

A technique for finding out information about companies. When you talk to people , you do not ask them to talk about their company. What you do is ask them to talk about the other company. That is not reg FD or insider information per se. It is their observations on the generalized business conditions and what the other companies are doing. Folks like to shoot their mouths off about other people
Avner_Mandelman  research_methods  hiring  sleuthing  due_diligence  proprietary  exclusivity  primary_field_research  secondary_research  research_analysts  gut_feelings 
february 2010 by jerryking
Turing was right: Don't be ruled by words and numbers
January 13, 2007 | Globe & Mail | by AVNER MANDELMAN.
Numbers alone aren't enough. You must seek out physical facts too,
because that's where the exclusive edge is. But if you have read this
column before, surely you know all this. So why am I mentioning it
again? Because when I interviewed analysts prior to hiring one, I found
that fresh MBAs or those with a CFA designation have never been taught
to do physical sleuthing. In fact the entire CFA material never mentions
physical investigation. It's all done by numbers and letters -- which
are, of course, reflections of reality, not physical reality itself.
The implicit assumption then is that screen blips and printed matter can
capture the full human drama of commercial conflict -- which, after
all, is what business truly is. But is this assumption valid? Can
letters and numbers alone tell you whether a company's president is
competent and trustworthy?
Avner_Mandelman  sleuthing  proprietary  due_diligence  scuttlebutt  physical_place  personal_knowledge 
february 2010 by jerryking
Before You Buy a Business ...Or Any Major Asset
2009 | The Business Library |

There is a great deal of time and energy expended in buying a business
both before and after the closing.The period from your initial meeting
to actual closing usually covers 90 to 180 days and the post-closing
transition period can extend over 6 months to one year. Be aware of the
time required; you and your executives must set aside that time to meet
your commitments in negotiating and closing a deal. There is basic
information you will need to properly analyze and value the
to-be-acquired company, including: 1. the information needed to help you
determine your preliminary interest before proceeding with the
negotiations; 2. the work to do on a financial justification for
purchasing the company; and 3. the pre-closing documentation when you
are getting ready to finalize the price, payment terms, transition and
payment schedules, etc.
due_diligence  buying_a_business  filetype:pdf  media:document 
february 2010 by jerryking
Cool it. Slow down. Don't buy the rhetoric
November 21, 2009 | | by AVNER MANDELMAN.
The formal art of convincing others is called rhetoric. The Greek and
Romans used to teach it, as did the Jesuits, British law schools of old
and certain colleges in France. There is a variety of rhetorical styles -
Roman, Greek (which includes oratory), British, French, German - but
all are meant to do one thing: convince you and push you into action.
That topic of this column - a warning against letting yourself be
convinced without checking things yourself--due diligence.
Slow_Movement  rhetoric  logic_&_reasoning  Avner_Mandelman  investment_advice  due_diligence  persuasion  Greek  Romans  self-delusions 
november 2009 by jerryking
Finding competitive intelligence on Internet start-up companies: a study of secondary resource use and information-seeking processes
October 2001| Information Research, Vol. 7 No. 1 | by Sanda
Erdelez, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies,
University of Missouri-Columbia and Nicole Ware, Graduate School of
Library and Information Science,
University of Texas at Austin.
competitive_intelligence  start_ups  market_research  sleuthing  due_diligence  scuttlebutt  secondary_research 
october 2009 by jerryking
Computers helped chess experts and can do the same for investors - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 23, 2009 |Globe & Mail | by Avner Mandelman. Look for
an ability to see a pattern, not just details and in doing this,
man-machine partnerships (i.e. instantaneous access to data which you
can query smartly on the fly) can be effective in drilling deep for
company due diligence. When talking to management, always have the
company's financial statements, and those of their competitors, on an
interactive spreadsheet before you. Then, anything management tells you,
check for veracity, logic, and impact, and use what you find to refine
your questions. It's a simple but effective form of man-machine
interaction that should help any investor improve his due diligence.
Avner_Mandelman  pattern_recognition  due_diligence  artificial_intelligence 
october 2009 by jerryking
Before You Tie the Knot... -
NOVEMBER 26, 2007 WSJ article by SHELLY BANJO. Many people
jump too hastily into business relationships. Too many people think they
know a friend or colleague well enough to start a business together,
only to discover they don't. The key to success is as simple as it is
complex: homework. Communications, Personalities and Shared Values,
Partnership Agreements, Keep Talking
small_business  Communicating_&_Connecting  Shelly_Banjo  personality_types/traits  partnerships  preparation  due_diligence  values  relationships 
march 2009 by jerryking
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