Three Activist Investor Targets

Three Activist Investor Targets

We recently wrote that “Scale Matters in Tech”. Technology companies that have captured the number 1 or number 2 position within a particular vertical enjoy Economies of Scale including: 1.) automatically getting a seat at the table for sales bakeoffs, 2.) job seekers naturally gravitate toward market leaders, 3.) prospective acquisition targets will find you, … Continue reading Three Activist Investor Targets

AI’s Dark Side – They’re Listening

AI’s Dark Side – They’re Listening

Hear that? Someone is listening. In fact, they all are: Google, Microsoft, Amazon, even Apple (who has positioned itself as a privacy champion). AI - more specifically the neural networks that power voice assistants - are far from fully autonomous. Deep learning models require human assistance at this juncture. Fair. It is when companies do … Continue reading AI’s Dark Side – They’re Listening

The Software Treadmill: Keep Pace or Fall Behind

The Software Treadmill: Keep Pace or Fall Behind

The software industry is fluid and unforgiving - especially the CyberSecurity space. Companies either innovate or fall behind. There is no such thing as standing still. This week semiconductor firm Broadcom (tkr: AVGO) agreed to acquire Symantec's Enterprise business. Symantec (tkr: SYMC), is a CyberSecurity software vendor and is a laggard in an industry that's … Continue reading The Software Treadmill: Keep Pace or Fall Behind

Alexa: Amazon’s Ambient, Ubiquitous OS

Alexa: Amazon’s Ambient, Ubiquitous OS

Alexa is shaping-up to be the ambient, ubiquitous Operating System that will underpin our lives. Amazon’s AI platform is powered by a fleet of smart home devices, automobiles, in-store experiences (Wholefoods, Amazon Go), ecommerce activity and physical commerce. Below are a few noteworthy items. For a more holistic perspective see our article The Three Rings … Continue reading Alexa: Amazon’s Ambient, Ubiquitous OS

CyberSecurity Is Not Someone Else’s Problem

CyberSecurity Is Not Someone Else’s Problem

We have definitely entered a period of CyberSecurity fatigue. When Capital One's (tkr: COF), stock barely gets hit in the aftermath of a significant CyberBreach you know many investors - as Rhett Butler once said - "don't give a damn". CEO's need to "own" CyberSecurity and operate it like a line of business. Customer PII … Continue reading CyberSecurity Is Not Someone Else’s Problem

Don’t Expect M&A Activity to Accelerate Anytime Soon

Don’t Expect M&A Activity to Accelerate Anytime Soon

Based on June quarter earnings call results, management teams have less visibility into Sales pipelines, Revenue forecasts and Profitability in the aggregate than several months ago. This in turn causes would be acquirers to haircut purchase price valuations if not walk away from deals entirely. In the former case, valuation haircuts typically either stall deal … Continue reading Don’t Expect M&A Activity to Accelerate Anytime Soon

LP Fee Verification & Administration as a Service

LP Fee Verification & Administration as a Service

LP’s are increasingly hiring third-party expert firms to verify fees payable to Private Equity managers. When I first read this news I was surprised to learn that many LP’s don’t have an operationalized process around validating management fee schedules and payment processing. Apparently I was naive in thinking that PE managers supplied LPs with a … Continue reading LP Fee Verification & Administration as a Service

CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index Continues to Outperform

CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index Continues to Outperform

Year-to-Date results are in through July 31st 2019 and the CEORater Index outperformed both on an Unweighted and Weighted total return basis. The CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index posted an Unweighted Total Return of 33.1% year-to-date through July 31st 2019 vs. 29.1% for the benchmark (ticker: RYT). Everquote (tkr: EVER) was the top performer on an unweighted basis … Continue reading CEORater Technology Founder CEO Index Continues to Outperform

When Evaluating Institutional Investors Ferraris Are A Red Flag.

When Evaluating Institutional Investors Ferraris Are A Red Flag.

One of the services we provide at CEORater includes a CEO Personality Profile derived from Natural Language Processing applied to earnings call transcripts. Research out of Stanford University - Charles OReilly and David Larcker - demonstrates a correlation between CEO Personality and company outcomes. Separate efforts apply similar analytic methods toward evaluating institutional investors. Institutional … Continue reading When Evaluating Institutional Investors Ferraris Are A Red Flag.

LSE to Potentially Acquire Refinitiv (fmr. Thomson Reuters Data Business) for $27 Billion

LSE to Potentially Acquire Refinitiv (fmr. Thomson Reuters Data Business) for $27 Billion

We tip our hat to LSE for thinking outside the box, moving beyond a commodity business to acquire a somewhat unique data set (one of the big three with Bloomberg and Factset).  Blackstone Group (BX.N) acquired a majority stake in Refinitiv from Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO) in October 2018, valuing the company at the time at … Continue reading LSE to Potentially Acquire Refinitiv (fmr. Thomson Reuters Data Business) for $27 Billion