First look at M&A for 2017 – Cisco acquires AppDynamics and two health insurance mergers crater

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in business advice, M&A, Venture Capital

In this episode of the M&A Moment, Rick Climan of Hogan Lovells, LLP, joins me to look at how the year 2017 is starting off in the Mergers and Acquisitions arena. We discuss the dollar volume for January 2017 and how that compares to the same period in 2016. We then discuss whether or not the January figures are a good indicator of how the whole year will fare.

The year started off with a couple high flying tech companies being purchased for a fraction of their peak valuations and look at how that might portend for the so call “unicorns” – privately held companies valued over $1 billion. January was also a month where the US government blocked two very large deals that were announced in 2015. Rick talks about those deals and how the Trump administration may or may not act in similar situations going forward. We end the conversation by talking about one very large deal just announced where the target company was simultaneously pursuing an IPO and an acquisition.

Rick Climan  Hogan Lovells logo

 

All this plus Rick’s usual analysis of the legal, financial and strategic thinking behind the M&A markets and these specific deals.

This episode was recorded during my Bay Area Ventures show on SiriusXM Channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School on February 13, 2017. Be sure to check out my Bay Area Ventures show page by clicking on the show link at the top of this page. For more information on Rick Climan you can go to Rick Climan on HoganLovells.com or go to www.MandAMoment.com.

The Bay Area economy 2016 year in review with Jim Wunderman

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The Bay Area economy, to put it simply, has been booming. It has been undergoing a sustained period of growth and economic development. But just how good was it? Jim Wunderman, CEO of The Bay Area Council, joined me to take a look back at the San Francisco Bay Area’s economy for 2016, and also takes a look forward to what might lie ahead for the region in 2017.

Was 2016 the “best of times” for the Bay Area? What were some of the factors that contributed to the current state of the economy? What were some of the biggest challenges the region faced in 2016 and what will be the key drivers and issues going forward? The Bay Area has some of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country but, at the same time, has some of the highest costs of living in the world. Can people afford to live in the Bay Area and, if not, can companies attract and retain the talent needed to maintain its position as one of the leading centers of innovation in the world? Will inflation become a problem for the region in 2017 and how will the Donald Trump administration impact existing and future initiatives and policies? Jim covers all these areas and more in this special extended edition of the Bay Area Council Quarterly Update feature of my show, Bay Area Ventures.

Jim Wunderman Image
Jim Wunderman’s organization, The Bay Area Council, is a public policy organization founded in the 1940’s by a Who’s Who of San Francisco Bay Area business leaders. The Council is focused on making the San Francisco Bay Area and the Silicon Valley the most globally competitive and economically productive region in the world. The Council’s membership is comprised of CEOs from hundreds of the top businesses in the Bay Area and Jim has been its CEO since 2004.

Before the Bay Area Council, Jim had a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. He served as Chief of Staff to San Francisco Mayor Frank M. Jordan from 1992-95, responsible for overseeing all departmental and budgetary functions, and management of the Mayor’s Office. Earlier he served as Special Assistant to Mayor Dianne Feinstein, from 1983-1987, with his duties including oversight of the city’s utility, the Public Utilities Commission, and the Department of Public Works. From 1988 through 1991, he served as Vice President and General Manager of two major waste collection, disposal and recycling firms in the Bay Area under its parent, Recology, Inc (formerly Norcal Waste Systems). From 1997-2004 he served as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Providian Financial Corporation. Jim is also a Visiting Professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, teaching a course in Executive Leadership. You can see Jim’s full bio here http://www.bayareacouncil.org/people/jim-wunderman/

This interview was recorded on January 23, 2017, on SiriusXM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School. Bay Area Ventures airs live on Mondays at 4:00pm Pacific Time, 7:00pm Eastern Time. For a list of upcoming and past guest information, click on the Show link above.

2016 Mergers and Acquisitions Year in Review and 2017 Forecast

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in business advice, M&A

In this special extended addition of the M&A Moment we take a look back at the highlights and final numbers for mergers and acquisitions for the year 2016. We will also take a look ahead at what 2017 might hold in store. Rick Climan of Hogan Lovells, LLP joins me to talk about how 2016 compared to 2015 and discusses some of the biggest deals announced, as well as some of the biggest deals to crater in 2016. Not only does Rick tell us the numbers but he gives us tremendous insights into what’s behind all the strategy, negotiation and legal decisions that led to the results.

Rick Climan
2016 was a stellar year but, was it as strong as 2016? Will 2017 be stronger still? What sectors had the most activity? How did US activity compare to global M&A. Were US companies an attractive target for foreign investment and, if so, what countries were the biggest investors? How will the Donald Trump administration impact US and foreign M&A transactions going forward? Will CFIUS reviews be stepped up and will cyber-crime or information leaks impact any major deals?

 

Rick and I cover all of this and take calls from listeners, as well. It’s a jam packed episode that will be invaluable for your understanding of M&A and your decision making going forward.

This episode was recorded during my Bay Area Ventures show on SiriusXM Channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School on January 23, 2017. Be sure to check out my Bay Area Ventures show page here on Spreaker. For more information on Rick Climan you can go to Hogan Lovells, LLP.

San Francisco vs. Atlanta as a place to run your startup company

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On this episode of Bay Area Ventures we speak with Paul Judge, Co-Founder and CEO of Luma. Paul, is an inventor, investor and serial entrepreneur. He is a cybersecurity expert and has had extensive experience in the field through many of his roles. In addition to Luma, Paul was a co-founder of Pindrop Security, Looklive, Tech Square Labs and PureWire, a web security service acquired by Barracuda Networks where he stayed on to be their Chief Research Officer and VP for over five years and through to their $2B IPO.

Luma logoPaul Judge, CEO Luma

Before all that, Paul was the Chief Technology Officer of CipherTrust and Secure Computing. CipherTrust was acquired by Secure Computing for $273M in 2006 and Secure Computing was subsequently acquired by McAfee in 2008 for $465M.

In addition to almost 30 patents under his belt, Paul is an author and lecturer and holds MS and PhDs in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in computer science from Morehouse College. You can find videos of some of Paul’s lectures on his website at www.pjudge.com.

Paul tells us about his latest company Luma, makers of a new Surround WiFi system that brings the type of WiFi service typically found in large commercial spaces to the home. Luma is a scalable system that allows one to place multiple access points throughout a home, overcoming the limitations of typical home Wifi routers which only have antennas in one location. Luma also employs sophisticated software to make configuration a snap and to protect your home from cyber intrusions.

Luma in living room

Paul also shares his advice on building and running a startup company talking about his transition from a Ph. D. student and early employee at a startup company to becoming a serial entrepreneur on his own. Having homes and offices in both San Francisco and Atlanta, he compares the differences between running startups in the Bay Area versus other locations. The good and the bad.

Paul is an engaging speaker offering great advice for any entrepreneur.

Recorded December 19, 2016 on SiriusXM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School. Bay Area Ventures airs live on Mondays at 4:00pm Pacific Time, 7:00pm Eastern Time.

For a list of upcoming and past guest information click on the Show link above.

Why entrepreneurs must understand the sales function

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My latest podcast of Bay Area Ventures is an interview with Jim Fowler, Founder and CEO of Owler.com. Jim is a serial entrepreneur who launched Jigsaw.com in 2003 and sold it to Salesforce.com in 2010 for $175M.

Jim Fowler - Founder and CEO of Owler

Jim’s leadership skills have evolved over time and build on his experience as a Naval officer, Co-Owner of a ski resort, a VP of Sales and two-time tech entrepreneur.

The Owler team includes several of Jim’s friends and colleagues who have worked with him before which is a testament to his ability to foster and congeal teams. In this interview he shares his experiences in building and running companies, discusses some mistakes he’s made along the way and explains why he thinks the most important skill for an entrepreneur is to fully understand the sales process including how and why customers are going to pay for your company’s products or services.

Jim’s motivation for working and speaking is to help others. He is not drawing a salary from Owler and plans to donate his profits to charity. He is most concerned with setting a good example as a father rather than to sit back and live off of his prior gains.

I guarantee this podcast will be a great use of your time.

Bay Area Ventures replays now available here and on Spreaker

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I’m pleased to announce that replays of my Bay Area Ventures show will now be available on this site both on this blog page or on our Bay Area Ventures Guests page (available from the Show link above). The replays are hosted on Spreaker for streaming and downloading here as well as on the Spreaker mobile app, iTunes, Facebook, and elsewhere.

My first replay is an interview with Dr. Kirk Heath, Co-Founder and CEO along with Dr. Tom Clifford, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Modio Health recorded on July 25, 2016.

Modio Health is a startup with offices in San Francisco, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia focused on solving the inefficiencies of credentialing and career management for healthcare providers and the healthcare systems they work for.

Hear Kirk and Tom discuss how their backgrounds as surgeons and the hindrance to doing the work they love caused by burdensome paperwork, led them to create a high-tech solution to managing physician credentials. Learn how they teamed up experts in healthcare provider management from Virginia Beach with technology and marketing wizards from the San Francisco Bay Area to design and build their system and services.

Modio Health is a venture funded company experiencing rapid growth. Kirk and Tom share their story of transition from the Operating Room to the Board Room and how to develop a high performance entrepreneurial team.

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Bay Area Ventures on SiriusXM’s channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School is a show about the San Francisco Bay Area way of doing Business covering all aspects of what makes working and living in the Bay Area unique and special. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, from politics to public policy, from venture financing to mergers & acquisitions, and even to the lifestyles of those living and working in the Bay Area, I try to cover it all in order to help you apply the great practices of the Bay Area to your ventures. The show airs live on Monday’s from 4:00pm to 6:00pm Pacific Time and is broadcast via satellite radio from our studio at the campus of Wharton|San Francisco (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s San Francisco Campus on the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco)

Every live show includes two feature guests for up to one hour each. Each of the Bay Area Venture podcasts on Spreaker covers one feature guest interview from the show. In addition to the feature guest, each month I host an “M&A Moment”, with Rick Climan, of the Weil law firm and every quarter I host a Bay Area Council Quarterly Update with Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council.

The M&A Moment is a look at top merger and acquisition deals involving at least one Bay Area company, as well as an exploration of strategy, tactics and financing inherent to this exciting multi-billion dollar business practice. The M&A Moment is available as a separate podcast here and on Spreaker at The M&A Moment.

The M&A Moment podcast premiers today

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I’m pleased to announce the premier of my new podcast The M&A Moment. The M&A moment is about the latest business mergers and acquisitions news involving San Francisco Bay Area companies as well as the art and legal aspects of negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal.

The show is hosted on Spreaker and is available here, on Spreaker on my Facebook page “The Free COO” and soon on my new website, MandAMoment.com. Here is the first episode:

Be sure to check here often for new episodes.

Setting a Vision

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in COO, Priorities, Setting Goals

Setting a clear vision for an organization is perhaps the most important task for a CEO. Sharing and instilling the vision throughout the organization is perhaps the most important task for a COO. A clear vision that is understood by everyone in the organization and continually reinforced by the leaders will provide an intangible force that seems to be driving the company. Read more…

Getting Started – Learning to Let Go

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There is a big difference between being a CEO and a COO.  I know, because I’ve been both.

At my first startup company I didn’t have a COO and, while the company was a success, it wasn’t until I learned to let go of certain tasks that the company flourished.  Entrepreneurs, almost by definition have a vision of how things should be and how their company should be run, but first time entrepreneurs, myself included, often spend too much time on internal details which can be crippling to a startup venture.
Read more…