This is in the running for my favorite research report of the year so far.
Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group chief market strategist, is always a great read. This week he shares some hilarious anecdotes from a 25 year career “meeting with company management”. Colas notes that about 60% of all commission-spend on Wall Street is related to sell-side firms arranging meetings between institutional investors and C-level executives at companies.
Here’s one in particular I loved before I turn you over to the entire doc (embedded below)
#1 – “Mine comes with a warranty.” You may not know the name Romano Artioli, but at one point in the 1990s he owned – personally – two of the most stories brands in automotive history: Bugatti, which he resurrected, and Lotus, which he purchased. I visited him at his new headquarters outside Milan in early 1995 as he considered an IPO for his company. The building, which doubled as the assembly plant for the EB 110 supercar, was brand new and beautiful. The entire office staff – male and female – looked to have been lifted from the pages of Italian Vogue… All new and beautiful.
He asked me if I knew the secret to what men want. I responded that I did not. He said “A beautiful woman (waving at the covey of attractive office help outside his door) and a beautiful car. I offer the one with a warranty.” His firm filed for bankruptcy later that year. It turns out that men may want those things, but suppliers (mostly men in the auto business, as it turns out) also want to be paid when they ship parts. Cash flow isn’t sexy, but it does allow you to stay in business.
If you’ve read my book, or at least the excerpted story about the Jamba Juice shareholder’s meeting I let leak on the web, you already know my thoughts about talking to management or “making friends with the band.” It’s for chumps.
Anyway, here’s the rest of Mr. Colas’s list, it’s great (click to download):