Update: Battle-Tested Software CEOs

Update: Battle-Tested Software CEOs

We published a piece in March 2020 entitled Battle-Tested Software CEOs, that highlighted a group of CEOs that we believed would hold the line and successfully navigate the COVID waters. Here is our updated thinking regarding that list.

Tickers mentioned: AAPL, ADBE, CSGP, CVLT, FISV, MSCI, PYPL, SPGI, SQ, SSNC, VRSK

  • Andy Florance. Founder & CEO of CoStar Group (tkr: CSGP). Long tail of bankruptcy risk with property owner customers, however CoStar is a more diverse company than it was in 2008 during the financial crisis (CSGP executed just fine then). The CRE Info Services market leader has fewer competitors today. Look for multifamily listings and the “industrial” property class to continue to be sources of strength.
  • Bill Stone. Founder & CEO of SS&C Technologies (tkr: SSNC). Look for a return to organic revenue growth this calendar year plus small-to-mid-sized acquisitions at reasonable valuations will help boost total revenue growth. A continued disciplined approach to OpEx management should result in Adjusted EBITDA and Earnings growing faster than revenues.
  • Henry Fernandez. Founder & CEO of MSCI (tkr: MSCI). Will 2021 be a repeat of 2020 for MSCI shareholders? Most likely “Yes”. The biggest risk to MSCI is Biden-driven Stagflation to where retail investors pull money out of ETFs and Index funds.
  • Jeff Yabuki. Jeff Yabuki retired as FISV CEO. Frank Bisignano is CEO and has his work cut out for him as the payments landscape continues to evolve with Apple Pay, PayPal, Plaid, Square and Stripe as key disruptors.
  • Jerre Stead. CEO of Clarivate Analytics (tkr: CLVT). One of the best operators we know. More work to do in terms of organic revenue growth.
  • Lance Uggla. CEO IHS Markit (tkr: INFO). Uggla sold INFO to SPGI.
  • Scott Stephenson. CEO of Verisk (tkr: VRSK). We should see organic revenue growth accelerate this year as Energy and Bank customers restart Consulting and Project-related work after tightening during 2020 due to COVID.
  • Shantanu Narayen. CEO of Adobe (tkr: ADBE). When will MSFT acquire Adobe? Adobe has the best Marketing and Creative tools in the software business.