Category: Venture Capital

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.

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The PE Model Is Unsustainable

The PE Model Is Unsustainable

PE firms can’t cut their way to prosperity in perpetuity.  Strategic Acquirers We applaud when strategic acquirers defeat PE buyers for coveted assets (for a list of strategic acquirers that do M&A well click here). Our rationale is that strategic acquirers are typically motivated to optimize acquired assets so as to maximize ROIC over the … Continue reading The PE Model Is Unsustainable

Facebook Calibra and Libra.

Facebook Calibra and Libra.

Facebook imagines a future in which consumers will pay for online and offline services with its cryptocurrency - Libra. Our view is that Libra will eventually enjoy broad adoption. The cryptocurrency floodgates are open, it’s primarily a question as to how Libra and others will be regulated. Regulation boils down to the size of the … Continue reading Facebook Calibra and Libra.

When Companies Aren’t Led by Experts

When Companies Aren’t Led by Experts

Much was made of Apple's chief designer Jony Ive stepping down last week. Rightfully so. What does it mean when companies aren't led by domain experts? "He’s not just a designer. That’s why he works directly for me. He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me. There’s no one who can … Continue reading When Companies Aren’t Led by Experts

Rideshare as an Investment? Don’t Be Spun by the VCs

Rideshare as an Investment? Don’t Be Spun by the VCs

Rideshare as a long-term investment? Right up there with owning an airline. Heck, even if the rideshare companies were operating at scale - running on autonomous vehicle fleets - would you really want to own that business? Depreciating assets, multiple competitors (it will be more than Lyft and Uber), and thin profit margins (we are … Continue reading Rideshare as an Investment? Don’t Be Spun by the VCs

CEO – Executive Team – Board (“CEB”) Alignment<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

CEO – Executive Team – Board (“CEB”) AlignmentPremium 

CEO tenure is getting shorter and we believe a primary cause is less than optimal alignment between CEOs, Executive Team members and Corporate Boards. Alignment Scale Exercise On a scale of 1-10 (10 is best) where would you rate the level of alignment between yourself and your direct reports? Between yourself and your Board of Directors?You may … Continue reading CEO – Executive Team – Board (“CEB”) AlignmentPremium 

Fiserv & First Data: Acquire in the Absence of Innovation<span class="badge-status" style="background:red">Premium</span> 

Fiserv & First Data: Acquire in the Absence of InnovationPremium 

Today’s announcement that Fiserv plans to acquire First Data in a $22 billion all stock deal continues the string of payments-related deals. More importantly it stresses what many know – that the incumbent payment companies are not innovation factories. Acquire in the absence of innovation – although I believe all companies should have an active … Continue reading Fiserv & First Data: Acquire in the Absence of InnovationPremium 

SS&C Technologies: Multi-Tenant Machine Learning at Scale

SS&C Technologies: Multi-Tenant Machine Learning at Scale

For the past few years I've poked around the machine learning ("ML") and artificial intelligence ("AI") space. I advised Boston-based DataRobot back in 2014 when they started to build their machine learning platform. I've thought about how we at CEORater may leverage ML to score CEOs and companies. Typically when we read about ML and … Continue reading SS&C Technologies: Multi-Tenant Machine Learning at Scale