Alumni Speaker Series: Seven lessons learned along the IPO journey

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  • Several alumni recently joined the David Eccles School of Business for the Alumni Speakers Series to share their IPO journey.

Alumni Speaker Series: Seven lessons learned along the IPO journey

Companies tend to make headlines when their IPO makes millions  — or even BILLIONS. But that shining moment that steals the spotlight is the result of years of preparation and planning. Several alumni recently joined moderator June Chen of LDD Partners for the David Eccles School of Business for the Alumni Speakers Series to share their IPO journey. Here are their top takeaways for companies considering an IPO:

  1. In addition to your board, you are going to need three types of people, said Dr. Stephen Neeleman of HealthEquity — bankers, auditors and lawyers. “Plan on spending a lot of money on all three of those.”
  2. Be realistic about your valuation, said Shawn Nelson of Lovesac. His company could have been purchased by a private equity firm, but they felt that they weren’t getting the valuations they deserved from private firms and that going public was the best option. Finding the perfect balance is a challenge, but it’s key to success.
  3. Find a CFO who can take you through the process, preferably someone who has done it before. “You need a CFO with a lot of experience,” Nelson said. “You CFO is your most important player.”
  4. Timing is everything, both Nelson and Neeleman agreed. Do plenty of test the water meetings, and watch the market so you can strike when it is hot. “But avoid August, those guys are all in the Hamptons,” Neeleman joked.
  5. Bigger isn’t always better. Size matters when you are building out your team, Nelson said, and it’s important to find a bank and accounting firm that will be the best fit for you. It can be tempting to only go after the big fish, but sometimes a boutique firm can offer exactly what you need.
  6. Have as much groundwork done as you can before you have your first org meeting, said Jacob Sperry of Connor Group Accounting & IPO Services. That first meeting will have a lot of people who are billing you for every hour they work on your account. You’ll save time and money if you can walk in ready to go.
  7. At some point in the journey, it’s going to be tempting to call it quits. “I can’t count the number of times where I just couldn’t see the way out,” Nelson said. “You either keep going or you don’t, and my advice is keep going.”

Gain more insights by watching the full panel here.

2019-02-26T09:14:43-07:00February 25th, 2019|

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