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SummaryIn an industry that's seen incredible growth in the last few years, lots of Saas companies are exploding. But Saas software vendor AvePoint was on the scene long before the industry took off, and their strategic vision of the cloud's potential has helped secure their own extraordinary long-term growth.Back in March we chatted with AvePoint's Chief Brand Officer, Dux Raymond Sy about building brands, so I'm excited to learn more about this growing company with today's guest, AvePoint's CEO, Dr. TJ Jiang.TJ co-founded AvePoint in 2001, and he's served as CEO since 2005. He holds a Master's degeree in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a PhD in data mining from NYU and in 2010, TJ was the recipient of Ernst and Young's, Entrepreneur of the Year Award.Ave Point is the Saas backbone of data management and the hybrid workforce. Their full suite of Saas solutions enable organizations worldwide to collaborate with confidence in the cloud. More than 9 million cloud users rely on AvePoint solutions for securing data, sustaining connections and ensuring business continuity.TJ and I spoke about the early, lean years of the business, AvePoint's careful choices along the way, and the evolutionary factors that have made AvePoint one of the biggest players in the Saas industry.Highlights: TJ's enterpreneurship story: how AvePoint began (3:15) What AvePoint does and who their clients are (5:58) How the pandemic influenced their business (7:38) TJ explains the benefits and necessity of Saas technologies (10:15) The size of the market and why this is just the beginning of digital transformation (13:34) TJ talks about AvePoint's go-to-market strategy (15:01) Why AvePoint is enjoying great growth when other companies are struggling (16:58) The story on some of AvePoint's latest acquisitions (19:01) TJ discusses their philosophy on capital allocation (23:03) Some of the factors that have led to AvePoint's strong balance sheet (24:50) The things that investors might miss about AvePoint (26:32) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteTJ Jiang LinkedInTJ Jiang TwitterAvePoint WebsiteAvePoint TwitterAvePoint LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Private markets investment is a giant field, and finding a unique place in the business isn’t easy. But when you pay close attention to timing, the needs and wants of your clients, and building a solid team, you can make a definitive mark in the industry. Joining me to talk about how that's done is Scott Hart, CEO of StepStone Group, a private markets investment firm. Since its founding in 2006, StepStone’s seen steady growth, and that’s been fueled by their customized investment solutions and advisory and data services. With 23 offices around the world and $137 billion of assets under management, they just keep growing.Scott joined StepStone in 2007, and he’s held a number of responsibilities across the organization, managing important client relationships, serving as co-head of private equity co-investments, and eventually becoming co-CEO in 2019, and CEO in January 2022. Scott is also a member of the global executive committee, private equity executive committee, private equity investment committee, and private equity portfolio and risk management committees.We talked about the factors around StepStone’s huge growth since Scott started in 2007, and the flywheel effect that’s helped get it there. We also took a dive into how diversification helped them carve out a niche built around custom products for a global client base.Highlights: Scott tells us about StepStone's mission and how they carry it out (03:16) Some of the important trends StepStone reacted to when they began 15 years ago (05:51) Scott outlines StepStone's strong position within the GP and LP ecosystem (08:04) StepStone's diversification strategies, global approach, and visibility (10:26) What they have offered retail investors versus industrial investors (13:40) Scott discusses StepStone's acquisition of Greenspring Associates (15:02) StepStone's company culture and how they attracted the right people (16:39) The keys to international expansion and managing a global firm (19:31) The resiliency of the private markets after a decade-long bull run (21:57) Scott shares projections for StepStone's long-term organic growth (24:53) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteScott Hart LinkedInScott Hart BioStepStone WebsiteStepStone LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:In an ever-changing market, consistent communication and messaging is essential to building up stakeholder trust. Corporate access is key when it comes to developing relationships between companies and investors, but access strategy can be difficult to navigate without the right experience. Joining me on this episode of ICR Industry Reports is Meaghan Montegari, Managing Director and Head of Global Investor Access. Meaghan recently joined ICR with over a decade of experience in all facets of corporate access and institutional equity sales. While on the sell side with companies like BofA Merril, Scotia Capital and Wells Fargo, she worked closely with corporates to identify potential shareholders, execute road shows, assist in mergers, spins, and acquisitions, and coordinate major conferences.In this episode, Meaghan and I discuss today's corporate access landscape, the importance of clear and consistent marketing, and why access to data combined with a human touch is such a difference maker.Highlights: What are investor access and corporate access? (02:46) Meaghan talks about the implementation of MiFID II and subsequent conflicts of interest (03:47) Meaghan discusses ICR's holistic view of the market (07:11) How has the shift towards in-house corporate access changed the market landscape? (09:05) Meaghan explains why a human touch is necessary when interpreting data (11:40) Why is it critical to consistently meet with or refresh your shareholder base? (13:30) How often should companies meet with investors? (16:45) Meaghan breaks down why ICR's corporate access services are designed to partner with the sell side (19:07) How is Meaghan using ICR's data to create a powerful new targeting platform? (20:29) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteMeaghan Montegari LinkedInMeaghan Montegari BioFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:In today's knowledge-based economy, your intellectual property is your competitive advantage and it needs to be protected. My guest this week is John Mancini, partner at Mayer Brown and a member of the firm's global intellectual property practice, which was named IP practice group of the year in 2017 and 2020 by Law360. John's practice focuses on litigating copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent disputes across the country, and he has successfully tried high-profile intellectual property cases as lead council, representing both public and private companies in a wide range of industries. His clients include tech giants like Google, YouTube, Spotify and many others and his contributions to the field have been recognized with many awards and honors including his 2020 induction into The Legal 500 Hall of Fame for trade secret litigation. John and I spoke about IP-related vulnerabilities companies should be aware of, new intellectual property challenges facing businesses in the social media age, and why getting your IP assets figured out should be an early priority for any company.Highlights: John walks us through his path to intellectual property litigation (03:03) John outlines Mayer Brown's practice and history (04:35) Why pre-IPO companies should prioritize protecting their IP rights (06:06) How companies can enforce their IP assets as barriers to entry (09:12) IP vulnerabilities pre-IPO companies should be aware of (11:00) How are social media influencers creating new vulnerabilities for companies they work with? (17:50) John shares some significant cases he's been involved with (19:15) John explains how to approach protecting IP rights on a global scale (20:51) Who does John consider an ideal client? (26:48) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJohn Mancini LinkedInJohn Mancini BioMayer Brown LinkedInMayer Brown WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Given the legal complexity of just about every aspect of running a company, lawyers are nearly ubiquitous in the corporate world. So, it should come as no surprise that a lifetime in corporate law amounts to an incredible wealth of knowledge and insight that can extend a lawyer's value far beyond just providing legal advice.My guest this week is Henry Nassau, CEO of global law firm, Dechert. First joining Dechert in 1987 and returning in 2003 after a stint as in-house general counsel (and briefly COO) at Internet Capital Group, Henry served as chair of Dechert's corporate and securities group for a combined 14 years, representing private equity sponsors, venture capital firms, public and private corporations, management teams, boards, and special committees regarding corporate and securities matters and advising clients on mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, investments, securities offerings, proxy contests, corporate governance, and general corporate matters. CEO since July of 2016, Henry has played an instrumental role in expanding the Philadelphia-based firm's international platform across Europe, Asia, and the middle east. Today, Dechert has equal representation of lawyers inside and outside of the United States, making them a go-to choice for cross-border matters.Henry and I spoke about the rise and fall of the dot-com bubble as it compares to current market conditions, trends in economic globalization, and why the transition from private equity law to businessperson can be a relatively seamless one.Highlights: Henry outlines the history of Dechert, as well as his own history with the firm (03:29) Henry explains his decision to go in-house at ICG in the late 90s (08:42) Henry unpacks how lessons he learned from the burst of the Internet bubble inform his practice today (13:33) What sets Dechert apart from other firms? (16:53) Henry discusses trends he sees in globalization (18:39) How did COVID affect Dechert and what adaptations seem permanent? (20:38) Henry offers insight on recent market trends (23:53) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteHenry Nassau BioDechert WebsiteDechert LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary: My guest this week is co-founder and president of Zenger Folkman, a leadership development consultancy, Joe Folkman. For more than 30 years, Joe has been assessing and studying top leaders in a variety of industries and is a world-renowned psychometrician and leadership development expert. If you're not familiar with his unusual job title, a psychometrician creates psychological tests to measure employees' knowledge, skills, and abilities. Joe is also a prolific writer and has contributed to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Business Insider. His research has also been featured in Business Week, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Finally, Joe is the best-selling author and co-author of nine books on leadership and feedback, including his latest work; The Trifecta of Trust: The Proven Formula for Building and Restoring Trust.Joe and I spoke about the foundational theory of this latest book, how the implementation of diversity and inclusion policies have a positive effect on trust, and why you actually can please everyone...and have to.Highlights: Joe talks about his use of data in making his assessments (03:29) Joe lays out the three pillars of The Trifecta of Trust (05:52) Joe discusses some top-level statistics of trust and links them to the corporate world (07:16) Joe outlines why consistency is important when building trust (10:27) Do you need to please everyone to be trusted? (12:04) How did the pandemic change which leaders were trusted? (13:52) Joe reveals that managers often have a preference for giving negative feedback (16:49) How do we regain lost trust and how do managers navigate what they don't know? (20:44) Joe talks about the interplay between trust and diversity and inclusion policies (23:50) Joe talks about intergenerational variations of trust (27:32) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJoe Folkman LinkedInZenger Folkman LinkedInZenger Folkman WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:According to recent surveys, 43% of Americans expect to add to their debt in the next six months in order to make ends meet. Most will use credit card debt to bridge the gap, but high interest rates could see this put the financial futures of many Americans at risk. Innovative solutions to help manage that debt can make all the difference.Today's guest is Scott Sanborn, CEO of LendingClub, the only full-spectrum FinTech Marketplace Bank that has helped more than 4 million Americans save billions of dollars with no plan to slow down any time soon. A LendingClub veteran since 2010, Scott served first as the company's Chief Marketing Officer, then Chief Operating Officer before stepping into the CEO position in 2016. Scott was instrumental in steering the company through a prolonged period of triple-digit growth running up to its 2014 IPO, the largest tech IPO that year, and has long been a driving force in the organization.In this episode, Scott and I talk about the company's impressive and consistent growth, why their services are accessible to a wider range of customers than their competitors, and how their 2021 acquisition of a digital bank has transformed their business. Highlights: Scott traces LendingClub's path from its founding to its recent bank acquisition (03:17) Scott discusses what sets LendingClub apart from their competitors (06:13) Scott explains how the bank acquisition expanded LendingClub's TAM (09:15) How does LendingClub use technology to improve their customer service? (12:01) Scott unpacks LendingClub's positive flywheel, and what is driving their repeat business (14:41) Scott teases the products and services we can expect to see from LendingClub over the next few years (18:37) How will AI be a game changer down the road? (21:34) How is LendingClub positioned to help Americans deal with inflation and rising interest rates? (23:15) What do shareholders misunderstand about LendingClub? (27:31) Scott shares how his passion for surfing informs his work (29:28) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteScott Sanborn LinkedInScott Sanborn BioLendingClub LinkedInLendingClub WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary: While gyms were closed, and most of the population was stuck at home during the pandemic, the home exercise equipment category saw a huge boom in sales. With this came increased consumer appetite for connectivity and consolidation of their fitness experience across all the products in their home gyms.Today's guest is Jim Barr, CEO of the iconic fitness brand Nautilus Inc. Also falling under the Nautilus umbrella are well-known brands like Bowflex and Schwinn. Before joining Nautilus, Jim was Group President of Richie Brothers, a global leader in sales of used industrial equipment, and Chief Digital Officer at Office Max, where he led the transformation of its online and omni-channel experiences. In this episode, Jeff and I talk about how Nautilus managed the huge surge in demand for their products during the pandemic, how they've used digital technology to transform the customer experience, and how getting your team right is a key driver of success.Highlights: Jim discusses the current landscape of the home fitness industry (4:12) Jim gives a breakdown of his strategic business plan North Star (7:15) Jim talks about Nautilus' huge growth in digital members and how this was achieved (10:24) Jim explains how a diverse portfolio of products has helped Nautilus grow (12:40) How did the pandemic affect Nautilus' supply chain demand and how has this changed? (14:24) Jim takes us through his personnel changes, and how this has benefitted Nautilus (16:11) Jim talks through the pivot that Nautilus made to AI, machine learning, and vision and motion capture technologies (18:04) Jim discusses industry competition and the power of the Nautilus brand (20:30) How can diversity in retail channels manage risk? (23:21) Jim talks about having a long-term view can help investors understand your story (25:31) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJim Barr LinkedInNautilus LinkedInNautilus WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Tech companies are having to work harder than ever to prove their resilience in an increasingly noisy market. For investors, the pandemic has highlighted the need for sustained growth and detailed future planning when choosing where to put their capital, and communicating these avenues of value to investors needs to be a part of every company's core strategy. Joining me today on this episode of ICR Industry Reports is Partner Greg McDowell, Head of Technology Investor Relations. Greg has spent the last 25 years fully immersed in software, spending 10 years at Oracle as an Account Manager, then moving to JMP, an investment bank based in San Francisco. He's seen the sector change over time -- everything from the dot com crisis through the pandemic re-writing the tech rule book.In this episode, we discuss the fluctuating nature of tech stocks, how investor requirements are changing, and how resistance, detailed forward planning and high-quality communication are all key to successful growth.Highlights: Greg talks about the work culture at Oracle (3:58) Greg breaks down the work he does with tech clients at ICR (5:22) Greg lays out the landscape of tech stocks and investor sentiment (8:09) As a tech company, how do you prove the durability of your revenue growth to investors? (12:13) Greg discusses the durability of software companies in a market dependent on them (13:57) Greg talks about the importance of telling your story to investors (15:49) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteGreg McDowell LinkedInGreg McDowell BioFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:The 'Fountain of Youth' was first mentioned in the writings of Herodotus in the 5th century BC. The world may have changed a lot since the Ancient Greeks, but our desire to look better, look younger, has not. Fast forward to today, Tiktok "beauty hacks" and YouTube videos promising to help us "look younger in seconds" flood the internet. The human obsession with youth and beauty has been alive and well for thousands of years, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the aesthetics category is giant, and continuing to grow.Today's guest is Dave Prokupek, CEO of Ideal Image, North America's leading aesthetics brand with over 1000 doctors and medical professionals who have performed more than 20 million FDA approved treatments. Backed up by 20 years of experience, Ideal delivers affordable and effective health and beauty services including laser hair removal, Botox, filler, body sculpting, skin rejuvenation, and medical grade skincare. Prior to joining Ideal, Dave built a cross-industry career by leading transformational growth as the CEO of an impressive list of companies like Smashburger and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.In this episode, David and I discuss the mechanics of Ideal Image's successful business model, the massive growth they are seeing in the health and beauty market, and how digital innovation is giving them a leg up on their competition.Highlights: Dave unpacks the opportunities he saw that led him to Ideal Image (02:57) Dave discusses the broad consumer pool that Ideal Image is targeting (04:59) Dave explains the benefits of partnering with a private equity firm like L Catterton (06:40) What business model allows Ideal Image to scale rapidly while maintaining a personal experience for customers? (07:45) Dave talks us through how the pandemic affected Ideal Image (10:35) What is the Ideal Image tele-aesthetics platform? (12:16) Dave explains how Ideal Image is using technological innovation to grow the business (13:38) How are current market conditions affecting Ideal Image's bottom line? (18:04) Dave describes Ideal Image's affiliate program (19:05) Dave offers advice to CEOs on growing their companies, regardless of the industry they're operating in (20:38) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteDave Prokupek LinkedInIdeal Image LinkedInIdeal Image WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Testing the population is a vital step in the pursuit of disease control. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the biotech industry was challenged to rapidly adapt and produce safe, effective testing at an almost unimaginable scale, businesses were forced to adapt and re-think the way diagnostic tests are designed, distributed, and safely conducted in order to keep up with demand. Today's guest is Jeff Fischer. Jeff is the co-founder and president of Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics LLC, an industry leading biotechnology company that has been on the frontlines of the battle with COVID-19. From 2007 to 2017, Jeff served as CFO of Longhorn. Jeff has previous experience in the biotech industry as an executive VP and CFO, and he is also a former infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps.In this episode, Jeff and I discuss Longhorn's innovative FDA-approved PrimeStore Molecular Transport Medium -- a product that has changed the way viruses are tested, how seeking FDA approval helped with mass rollout in a time of crisis, and how Longhorn found an unusual solution to a shortage of essential supplies. Highlights: Jeff discusses his motivation to start a company focused on diagnostic tools to address what he saw as a coming influenza pandemic (03:00) How life in the Marine Corps influenced Jeff's understanding of the world and his work (04:03) What is PrimeStore Molecular Transport Medium? (05:35) How Longhorn adapted to increased demand during the pandemic (10:10) How the Coca-Cola Bottling Group became the solution to test tube supply chain issues during the pandemic (13:43) Jeff discusses Longhorn's market opportunity and long term avenues for growth (15:47) Jeff explains the agility and independence afforded to Longhorn by not being a public company (17:29) What is the concept of "one health," and how will it change the way we think about the health of humans and the planet (19:10) Is a universal influenza vaccine just around the corner? (21:24) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJeff Fischer LinkedInLonghorn LinkedInLonghorn WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:As a public company, building strong relationships with investors is vital. In a down market, the strength of those relationships relies more than ever on honest, reliable communication. No matter what's happening in the market, your company always has a story to tell. Telling it genuinely builds trust, and your investors will thank you for it. My guest today is corporate communications expert and ICR Managing Partner, Brad Cohen. At ICR, Brad leads the PropTECH, Real Estate, and Lodging group, covering a broad range of industries. A former sell-side analyst and hedge fund manager, Brad has significant experience in investor relations and brings extensive knowledge of the strategic communications business to the table.In this episode, Brad and I discuss the trends he is observing across different areas of his practice, what it takes for a company to make it to the public market in current conditions, and how Brad recommends managing relationships with investors during periods of market instability.Highlights: Brad's path from hedge fund manager to ICR (02:31) What areas of Brad's practice are doing well in current market conditions? (04:19) Brad describes the type of companies that are currently able to raise money and break into the public market (06:44) Brad walks through how the construction sector is responding to challenges like supply chain issues and labor shortages (08:56) Brad explains why now is the time for companies to set realistic expectations for their investment communities (10:45) What are the benefits of holding investor days in a down market? (13:39) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteBrad Cohen LinkedInBrad Cohen BioFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary: We live in the era of the most advanced medical technologies the world has ever seen, but are we really that much healthier for it? According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the US are living with at least one chronic disease, 4 in 10 have two or more. In the wake of the pandemic, those numbers look primed to keep going up. Modern health care systems treat these illnesses after the fact, but what if healthcare began long before we got sick? And what if the best preventative medicine starts with something as simple as the food we eat? With today's science-based advancements in nutrition for health and longevity, the old adage "food is medicine" may be closer to the truth than ever before.  Today's guest is Dr. Joseph Antoun, the CEO and Chairman of L-Nutra, a unique nutri-tech company applying cutting-edge science to nutrition with the aim of helping people live longer, healthier lives. Dr. Antoun served as the Chairman of the Board at the Global Healthspan Policy Institute and as a member of Forbes Business Development Council. Before joining L-Nutra, Dr. Antoun was the CEO of Health Systems Reform, the Co-Director of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Chicago, and the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Helath Systems and Reform, among other accomplishments.  In this episode, we speak about the science behind L-Nutra's fasting mimicking technology, what they see as their three areas of growth potential, and how their programs and products stand out in a crowded market.Highlights: Dr. Antoun explains the scientific premise behind L-Nutra's products and programs (03:22) Dr. Antoun's describes how a career in medicine led him to L-Nutra (05:45) What are the health benefits of fasting, and how do L-Nutra products mimic its effects? (09:34) Why are customers more likely to complete a ProLon "fast" than other diets or meal plans? (16:33) Dr. Antoun walks through some of the products under the L-Nutra umbrella, including Fast Bar and Nutrition for Longevity (18:44) L-Nutra's approach to differentiation (22:18) Dr. Antoun unpacks the three areas of growth potential L-Nutra is focusing on (23:54) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJoseph Antoun, MD, PhD LinkedInJoseph Antoun, MD, PhD BioL-Nutra LinkedInL-Nutra WebsiteProLon WebsiteFast Bar WebsiteNutrition for Longevity WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:When inflation goes up, and disposable incomes shrink, consumers approach their spending with increased scrutiny. Despite tighter budgets, however, people are still social and they still need to eat, and restaurants that consistently provide great value to their customers will come out on top. Today's guest is Jerry Morgan. Jerry is President and CEO of Louisville, Kentucky-based Texas Roadhouse, trading under the symbol TXRH. With 35 years of food service experience, including time at Bennigan's and Burger King, Jerry is an industry expert with a ton of institutional knowledge. He began his career with Roadhouse in 1997 as the managing partner of the first Texas Roadhouse in Texas, and worked his way up through the company ranks. In 2020 he was named President of Texas Roadhouse, and became CEO in 2021 following the untimely death of the company's founder and former CEO, Kent Taylor. In this episode, I speak with Jerry about the company values that have been instrumental to the success of the brand, how they're handling recent inflation, and the two additional restaurant concepts they'll be expanding over the next few years.Highlights: Jerry walks through the Texas Roadhouse backstory (03:03) Jerry explains how he got his start with Texas Roadhouse, and why it beat out other restaurant chains for his attention (05:29) Jerry describes the company's values, and their commitment to quality and service (06:54) Jerry unpacks the market partner structure of Texas Roadhouse (08:12) Jerry's philosophy on pricing, and how he looks at passing rising costs on to customers (09:50) How a company culture of "fun with purpose" helps Texas Roadhouse succeed (11:06) How Texas Roadhouse is approaching technology (15:14) Jerry describes the two additional restaurant concepts in the Texas Roadhouse family: Jaggers and Bubba's 33 (17:36) Jerry talks about the advantages of being a public company with increased cash generation from a stakeholder perspective (22:05) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJerry Morgan LinkedInTexas Roadhouse LinkedInTexas Roadhouse WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:The automotive industry is changing. Shifting consumer behavior, increased demand for sustainability, and macro shifts towards digitization, automation, and new business models could see companies that are unable to keep up get left behind. For companies ready to embrace these changes, however, there are new opportunities for significant growth.Today's guest is Nino Ciappina, CEO of PARTS iD. PARTS iD is a digital commerce company, trading under the symbol ID, that is responding to evolving consumer needs and showing the aftermarket parts and accessories industry what an ideal customer experience looks like in 2022. Previously, Nino served as the Chief Marketing Officer and later the General Manager of Onyx, the predecessor company of PARTS iD. Nino has also served in a variety of digital marketing, marketing, and eCommerce positions, notably as the Director of Digital Marketing & Customer Acquisition at The Children's Place, VP of eCommerce and Digital Marketing at Firestar Diamond Group, and later as Senior Director of eCommerce and Digital Marketing at Foot Locker.In this episode, I speak with Nino about why the iD brand is unique in the industry, their efforts to expand from automotive parts and accessories into complementary verticals, and how PARTS iD is responding to current events. Highlights: Nino describes the three things that distinguish PARTS iD in the aftermarket parts and accessories industry (03:09) Nino provides perspective on the scale of the business, describing PARTS iD's catalogue of over 18 million SKUs (07:19) What are the verticals adjacent to PARTS iD's focus on automobiles? (10:06) Nino explains why the iD brand is closely tied to the identities of their customers (14:30) Nino walks through how PARTS iD is expanding their offering to appeal to customer's who want a "do it for me" experience (18:41) How is PARTS iD preparing for the electric vehicle revolution? (21:56) Nino explains why he points to Wayfair's business model as comparable to PARTS iD's (24:54) Nino comments on the way PARTS iD is handling market changes dues to global events (26:33) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteNino Ciappina LinkedInNino Ciappina BioPARTS iD LinkedInPARTS iD WebsiteCARiD WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:As threat volume and complexity grows, cyber attacks are quickly becoming one of the biggest concerns facing companies today. When the pandemic accelerated the shift towards digital, and employees around the world began logging in to work from anywhere, the threat of data being compromised only deepened. This is a big problem, not only for businesses, but for the stakeholders who put their trust in them. Cybercriminals are getting bolder, and cyber risks are always evolving. To protect your organization, you need a solution that evolves alongside the threat. Today's guest is doing the critically important work of developing effective cybersecurity solutions. James C. Foster is a world-renowned thought leader on cybersecurity, and founder and CEO of ZeroFOX. Foster has published over a dozen books, holds several patents, and has spoken on Capitol Hill about the increase in international cyber threats. Prior to founding ZeroFOX in 2013, Foster founded the cybersecurity company Ciphent which he grew to almost a hundred employees and a thousand customer before it was acquired by Accuvant in 2010. He's also worked with several high-growth cybersecurity organizations and executed on exit strategies for companies like  Foundstone, Guardent, and Information Security Magazine, and as an advisor for the United States Department of Defense.In this episode, I speak with Foster about pressing external cybersecurity concerns, ZeroFOX's recent public transaction with L&F Acquisition Corp, and where he sees market opportunity in the coming years.Highlights: Foster explains external cybersecurity, and how ZeroFOX works to eradicate those risks for businesses (02:52) Foster describes the effects the pandemic and the ongoing shift towards digital have had on the business (05:46) What is the market opportunity for external cybersecurity? (07:14) Foster explains the rate of cyberattack in recent years, and how a company like ZeroFOX can help ease the minds of execs (08:55) ZeroFOX's public transaction with L&F Acquisition Corp, and their acquisition of IDX (12:37) Foster talks through ZeroFOX's recurring revenue model (18:22) Who are ZeroFOX's clients, and where do they see opportunity in the market for expansion?(20:02) Foster comments on the way global events like Russia's invasion of Ukraine affect cybersecurity around the world (22:22) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteJames C. Foster LinkedInJames C. Foster TwitterJames C. Foster BioZeroFOX LinkedInZeroFOX WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Your brand is your promise. It's how you signal to stakeholders who you are and what you stand for. With so much on the line, it's no wonder that a messy brand can have a huge impact on your business.Joining me for this installment of ICR Industry Reports, the mini-series where we profile some of the industry leaders within ICR, is Kyle Kostesich. Kyle is the Executive Creative Director for ICR's Branding + Creative practice, having spent the last 15 years leading ICR's creative teams in the areas of branding, marketing, digital media, web design, and more. Coming from a diverse creative background, Kyle has worked with clients across numerous sectors, developing successful campaigns for luxury brands, like The Ritz-Carlton, global financial giants, like Mirae Asset, well-known consumer names, like Planet Fitness, and healthcare industry titans, like Pfizer.In this episode, I speak with Kyle about the elements of a strong branding strategy, how the Branding + Creative practice adds value for ICR clients, and the long-term benefits of creating a great brand, both internally and externally. Highlights: Kyle's career path: from graphic designer to ICR (02:32) Kyle describes the characteristics of an untidy brand (05:43) How a great brand can differentiate your company (07:52) How companies should be thinking about keeping their websites fresh (11:55) How Kyle works with management teams to form alignment on branding decisions (16:41) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteKyle Kostesich LinkedInKyle Kostesich WebsiteKyle Kostesich BioFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:This week: the next of our ICR Industry Reports. In this mini-series we profile some of ICR's industry experts, and hear about what they're observing at the frontlines of their fields.My guest today is Marc Silverberg, Partner and head of ICR's Energy, Sustainability & Modern Mobility investor relations practice. His team specializes in working with companies across the ESM ecosystem, with focus areas including electric vehicles, battery technology, and renewable energy among others. Marc joined ICR in 2015, bringing with him over 17 years of experience in the capital markets industry. Before coming to ICR, Marc served as a Director of Investments at Oppenheimer, and as Vice President of the energy and equity research team at Barclays and Lehman Brothers. In this episode, I speak with Marc about the biggest challenges he sees facing the companies he works with, how they are thinking about the future, and how sustainability-focused companies can differentiate their ESG stories. Highlights: How Marc's career path led him to ICR (02:32) Marc describes his work in ICR's Energy, Sustainability & Modern Mobility practice (04:41) What are the biggest challenges facing the companies Marc works with today? (06:57) How Marc works with client to develop milestones and long-term goals (10:59) Marc explains how companies in an industry already focused on sustainability can differentiate their ESG stories (13:38) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteMarc Silverberg LinkedInMarc Silverberg BioFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:Growth through M&A can be hit or miss. Studies show that nearly half of these transactions fail to see value creation as a result of acquisition. Why is that? Well, one reason may be that M&A is disruptive to stakeholder relationships. The challenge for investment firms is to strike the ideal balance between creating enough change to see accelerated growth in the companies they acquire or invest in and preserving the brand and core values of those companies so that key stakeholders feel secure. Great investment partners are able to look beyond the bottom line so they can evaluate and adapt to the dynamic relationships that make each company unique. Firsthand operations experience can help. Today's guest is Russell Fleischer, a former 3X software industry CEO and current general partner at Battery Ventures, a global technology-focused investment firm with a collaborative research style. At Battery, Russell is focused on new opportunities in the enterprise software sector, typically later stage transactions including buyouts, roll-ups, and take-privates. His experience as a CEO has allowed him to engage on a personal level with his portfolio company CEOs, coaching them and their teams to create more stakeholder value.In this episode, I speak with Russell about Battery's research-driven approach to choosing investments, how current issues are affecting the tech industry, and how he approaches the human elements of mergers and acquisitions. Highlights: Russell describes his early career journey through the software sector (03:39) Russell explains how his experience with private equity as a CEO led him to Battery (06:25) The challenges of being a CEO, and why an investor with firsthand experience can help (10:27) Why management teams shouldn't be afraid to make personnel changes (12:36) Battery's research-driven approach to choosing investments (15:15) Russell's observations of where the technology industry is moving geographically (18:52) Russell shares his thoughts on how the tech industry has responded to recent market shifts (21:32) Russell explains why he believes the social aspect of companies has such a huge impact on success during mergers (24:10) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteRussell Fleischer LinkedInRussell Fleischer BioBattery Ventures LinkedInBattery Ventures WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
Summary:This week is the first in a new mini-series profiling some of ICR's leading industry experts: ICR Industry Report. Alongside our usual content, this series will feature observations and analysis of what ICR's leaders are seeing in the market, and what trends they anticipate are coming up next in their verticals. These bite-size segments will be jam-packed with useful information to help you better understand the fields you're playing in.My guest today is Farah Soi, Partner in ICR's Consumer, Retail & Digital Commerce group. Since joining ICR in 2010, Farah has helped retailers and consumer goods companies, from emerging growth companies, to pre-IPOs, to established market leaders, with their investor relations efforts, leaning on many years of investor experience on the buyer side to inform her advice. Prior to ICR, Farah spent six years at the hedge fund Fine Capital Partners, and was an associate vice president at Citigroup Asset Management.In this episode, I speak with Farah about trends she has observed as the market recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation, and rapidly developing geopolitical events; the qualities she sees in great CEOs; and how her clients are succeeding at telling their ESG stories.Highlights: Farah lays out the work experience that brought her to ICR (03:23) Farah describes ICR's Consumer, Retail & Digital Commerce group (05:48) What are the biggest concerns facing Farah's clients today, and how are they responding to inflation, geopolitical uncertainty, and supply chain issues? (07:28) Farah's take on what makes a great CEO (10:40) How Farah's clients are telling their ESG stories (13:14) What Farah believes investors miss when reviewing the performances of companies in periods of dislocation (15:41) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteFarah Soi LinkedInFarah Soi BioFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, elizabeth@lowerstreet.co.
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