Chapter 3 - The Roadshow, June 1999 - Episode 1Listen to podcast
“Now that we have the pitch down and know what we have to do to make the presentation, let’s talk about logistics for the roadshow. Gustav, can you go over that for Larry and Donna.”
Harvey Maklin is back in the hackoff.com boardroom along with two younger, more junior bankers who will accompany Larry Lazard and Donna Langhorne on the hackoff roadshow. Gustav Johnson is tall, blond, square-faced, and well-dressed. Rachel Roth is an attractive young brunette in a pinstriped jacket, bright white shirt, bright red scarf, and skirt.
“Ya,” says Gustav. He has a trace of a Dutch accent and speaks English too well for an American. “I have a handout with the preliminary schedule.” He gives it to them.
$60 - $90 Million Initial Public Offering of Common Stock – Filed March 26, 1999
Barcourt & Brotherson (Books)
FCBC; Web & Stinger Corporation; (Co-Managers)
Larry Lazard, Chairman and CEO
Donna Langhorne, CFO
Summary Roadshow Schedule as of June 2, 1999
|Monday||New York||Barcourt Banker/Research Call||4:30 pm ET||WFC North, 18th Floor – NW Conf Room|
|June 7||St. Louis||Management to Web & Stinger Sales||4:30 pm CT||WS/Location: TBA|
|Wednesday||New York||Management to FCBC Sales||2:30 pm||FCGC/WFC South 28th Floor-Auditorium|
|June 9||Management to Barcourt Sales||4:30 pm||WFC North, 18th Floor – NW Conf Room|
|Monday||Geneva||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|June 14||Milan||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|Tuesday||London||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|June 17||Luncheon||12:15 pm||The Boston Harbor|
|Friday||Fort Worth||1/1’s ||TBA|
|Monday||St. Louis||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|Tuesday||San Francisco||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|Wednesday||Los Angeles||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|Thursday||San Diego Area||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|Friday||Milwaukee||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|Monday||New York||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|June 28||Luncheon||12:00 pm||The ’21 Club/Harbor Room|
|Tuesday||New York||1/1’s and/or group meeting(s)||TBA|
|June 29||Luncheon||12:00 pm||The ’21 Club/Harbor Room|
“On Monday where it says ‘Barcourt Bankers Research Call’ that’s John telling the story and presenting the fifty-thousand-foot view of his valuation model to the Barcourt sales force. This is important both for sales people who are going to be with you when you talk to clients and for the ones who never get to hear you tell the story in person. Normally, we like to have management at this briefing, in person but it was the only time we could book you with the Web & Singer sales force in St. Louis. With the time difference, you’ll be able to conference in and then, of course, you will get to meet with our sales force on the ninth.
“The sales force is a friendly audience and use this chance to sharpen the pitch. We’ll get you feedback from them right away and we’ll still have time to change the pitch books for Europe by the beginning of the next week. “Speaking of pitch books, you know what they are, yes?”
No one answers.
“So, as you know, ” Gustav continues, “the pitch book is the black book that has your PowerPoint presentation in it. I have one here.” It is a bulky black book with a leather-looking cover that sits as a wedge on a table so that the presenter sees on one side what he is showing plus any notes and the audience sees that page of the presentation with the notes on their side of the book.
“Of course, this is too small to use with the sales force so for them you’ll use PowerPoint with a projector. You’ll be at the podium and I will advance the slides for you.”
“We’re working on the presentation now. Our PowerPoint gurus have a lot of stuff from your website, a lot of the presentations you’ve given before, numbers you gave us, and the story we’ve talked about. We hope to email you drafts tomorrow and turn it around pretty quick to get ready for the roadshow. I will introduce you at each presentation except the one for the W&S sales force and except for some funds that don’t allow bankers to be present. Larry, of course, does the general pitch for the company, and then Donna does the numbers part at the end. After that you take questions.
“You’ll have forty-five minutes max for each presentation if everybody is ready on time which they may not be. You want the pitch to be no more than twenty to twenty-five minutes tops so there will be time for questions at the end even if they interrupt you with questions while you’re giving it.They will do that
“The rules are that the company can’t leave any papers behind except the prospectus — not even a copy of the presentation. Everybody knows that so nobody should ask you for anything but you never can tell. They may slow you down for noteâ€‘taking, especially when you’re presenting numbers. We, the bankers, can leave copies of stuff we have done independently on the company like John’s spreadsheets, for example — but we have to be very clear that these are coming from us and not from the company.
“Oh, yes. It won’t happen every day but we’ll try to schedule group breakfasts and group lunches wherever we can; this is a good way to hit the smaller accounts. Rachel and I will be with you for almost all of the presentations, as I said. I know Harvey wants to be at some of the ones in the City. We’ll always go in with the salesperson for the account and he or she may stay behind to get the order or just bullshit with the customer. They’ll have good feedback on how the pitch went; we’ll have a wrap-up call at the end of each day to see how the book is filling in. At first the orders will be slow but it will speed up by the end.
“As far as travel goes, we’re flying commercial to Geneva and within Europe. We’ll take the Concorde back from London to New York so you can get some sleep in Philadelphia. Then we’ll use a private jet in the US-”
“Who pays for that?” growls Larry.
“The company pays,” says Harvey. “It’s in the contract we signed. It’s always that way.”
“The contract says we pay for our travel and you pay for yours,” says Larry. “Don’t you think I read it? You bankers aren’t getting a free ride on a plane I’M paying for. You already get fucking seven percent of the deal just for taking orders on the stock.”
“I’m sure you read the contract, Larry,” says Harvey. “That’s why we like working with you. I hope you’ll end up convinced that we’re worth our seven percent; there’s a lot to do in putting this deal together and, of course, a lot of that seven percent goes to the other underwriters in the syndicate. The company always pays for the plane. That’s the way it’s done.”
“Then bankers don’t fly on my plane,” says Larry. “Buy your own tickets. No one gets a free ride from hackoff ... that’s the way it’s always done.” Larry is on his feet now, looming over Harvey’s chair. It’s not clear whether he means to hit Harvey or just stalk out of the room.
“We’ll split the plane,” says Harvey. “We want to be accommodating.” He tries a gracious smile.
“Good idea,” says Larry. No smile.
“Okay,” says Harvey. “I think we’ve covered a lot of ground for one day. Any questions, you know where to get me. Gus and Rachel will be in constant touch. Donna, is it okay if John calls you for some help on his valuation model?”
“Sure,” says Donna. “I’ll keep him straight.” She’s been smiling and she smiles more broadly.
“Tell him not to forget ‘cubed’,” says Larry.
“I’m sorry, what?” asks Harvey.
“Jesus Christ,” says Larry, “I knew you guys were going to double-cross me on this. The only reason we chose Barcourt is I thought Braxton understood why we’re valued at e-com CUBED. Now you don’t even remember…”
“I do remember,” says Harvey. “I do; trust me. And more important, I know John does. He’ll tell the story for you.”
“I hope so,” says Larry.