Tuesday, May 6, 2008/
When you decide to float, choose an adviser who will stick by you for the long haul. BRENDAN LEWIS
By Brendan Lewis
I recently talked about the strategy for going public that came out of the Churchill Club program “from kitchen table to IPO“, which we ran on 17 April. We were joined by Silvio Salom of Adacel Technologies, Leon Lau of Peoplebank and Michael Abela of Mobi.
This week I wanted to pass on the main points (as noted by me) that were made by our panel around selecting advisers to go public with:
- If you are thinking about going public, the market will soon know, and you will be inundated with offers from potential advisers. But select those you want to interview from recommendations you get from your peers.
- Select advisers that you feel comfortable with. You are a novice in the area and simply can’t know everything. So make sure you trust your instincts as well as your spreadsheets.
- Recognise that you are potentially swimming with sharks. As a general indicator – large adviser means large fees, small adviser means small fees but no discipline.
- Be prepared to cancel a contract if you don’t like where it’s going. The short term pain is worth the long term gain.
- The best advice was to select advisers that will be offering you advice not just up to the listing, but for future activity and capital raisings as well – advisers that will be there for the long haul, not just dumping you as soon as you have left the altar. Consequently you should look at remunerating your advisers for long term success, not just listing.
- Understand that once you have listed, you have moved up to a brand new bracket for costs and fees. The lawyer’s advice that took $5000 may now cost $20,000.
Next week, I want to cover off the last topic – the new skills required as a public company CEO.
Brendan Lewis is a serial technology entrepreneur having founded : Ideas Lighting, Carradale Media, Edion, Verve IT, The Churchill Club, Flinders Pacific and L2i Technology Advisory. He has set up businesses for others in Romania, Indonesia and Vietnam. Qualified in IT and Accounting, he has also spent time running an Advertising agency and as a Cavalry Officer with the Australian Army Reserve.
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