IPO in New York Road show

How do you make your IPO a success? Improve your IPO presentation

October 4, 2019

If you are preparing your IPO presentation, then you’ll want to do everything to make it a success.

We’ve been advising IPOs for 15 years and in that time we have seen the difference between a successful and unsuccessful float.

What’s the one big lesson we’ve learned?

When you prepare an IPO presentation you cannot put too much effort into polishing your presentation.

That means polishing how your team handles each investor meeting (not just creating prettier slides)

 

Successful IPOs mean clear, simple & consistent investor meetings

After all, when investors judge the future of your business, they rely on the impression you make  – or what others say about you.

Looking across the dozens of deals we have supported, we’ve identified six key themes:

 

How to run great IPO investor presentations

  1. Be comfortable

  2. Be simple and clear

  3. Address investor concerns

  4. Paint a picture of the future

  5. Show the quality of the team

  6. Be consistent

IPO Presentation Tip 1 – You need to be really comfortable with the meetings

This is tough.

During the IPO process you have advisors. Lots of them. And they are all giving you advice.

But the advice is not always consistent. How do you keep your cool and stick to what you really stand for?

A few years ago we got a call from one of the big banks. The IPO they were working on – a large price-comparison site – was in trouble.

Management had just pitched to the bank’s  sales team and they were terrible, two days before the IPO roadshow.
The next morning we started work with the CEO and CFO. It was immediately evident that management were trying to tell their story via the bank’s IPO presentation pitch deck.
While the pitch deck was good and comprehensive, it was not much use to the CEO when he was trying to tell an exciting story.
So, we worked with the CEO and CFO and helped them re-think how they ran their investor meetings. Their story became more personal, more credible and more powerful.  It reinforced the messages in the pitch book – but without following it slavishly.
A few weeks later, the IPO was a success – the largest IPO after Google. This was a great example of helping management speak with real credibility.

IPO Presentation Tip 2 – Your story must be simple

Every business is complex. And the closer you are to the business, the more complex it looks.

But for investors, if your story is difficult to understand, it is less attractive.

A few years ago we were supporting a Swedish tech business with their IPO.
They had an amazing business, but it was highly technical. And the bank’s “Eight reasons to invest in this business” did not help. So we helped management describe their technology in terms of the benefits it brought to their customers.
By developing a problem-solution approach in the presentation it was easier for investors to understand the market and the value the company delivered.  After that it was simple for investors to grasp the real value of that business.

IPO Presentation Tip 3 – Address investor concerns

Every investor will have concerns. Both buy-side and sell-side analysts will have concerns. If they don’t, they are not doing their job. So you need to address those concerns, ideally by getting on the front foot.

The recent failed WeWork IPO is a good example of how not to reassure investors.

When we work with firms we examine in detail what might worry investors and then incorporate these issues into the equity story.

You will sound much more credible if you acknowledge the risks up front and explain what you are doing to address them.

IPO Presentation Tip 4 – Paint a clear picture of the future

Equity investors buy into the future, not the past. But it’s hard – the future is opaque and you are limited in what you can say.

Your past successes will reassure investors. But the most important part of your job is to convince investors that that you know where you are going and that you can maintain that success.

A few years ago we helped a big cinema chain float. The CEO was very impressive, but the way he told his story during the IPO presentation was all about how they had got to where they were.
We helped him transform his story and add in a clear description of the future and why his company was best positioned to capture even more value in this business.

IPO Presentation Tip 5 – Show the quality of the team beyond CEO & CFO

Many investors may not meet anyone beyond the senior team during the float. While these individuals may be impressive, one of the key skills of a great CEO is to demonstrate they have a great team behind them. There are many ways to do this and it’s a critical part of making a successful pitch.

For example, you can use stories to show the strength and depth of the team, or you can refer specifically to individuals in the team.

The whole idea is to give investors the sense that there is a broad and strong team behind the company’s success.

IPO Presentation Tip 6 – Be consistent – everywhere

Your IPO story needs to resonate throughout the organisation – and beyond.

The story investors hear must tie in with what staff hear, what customers hear and what they read in the press.

We help management achieve this with coaching on media interviews and public speaking as well as investor meeting coaching.

In the end, these different strands must all tie together so that investors, staff and customers hear a clear, consistent and convincing story. In this way, you build confidence with investors, analysts and the markets.

 

 

How to improve your investor meetings

To discuss the support you can get with your IPO or major transaction, call us today.

We are always happy to share ideas and discuss ways to make sure your IPO is even more successful.

Find out how we can help you today

 

About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

Benjamin Ball Associates helps clients to communicate better.

Over 10+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached hundreds of firms  globally to present powerfully to investors. We have developed a robust toolbox of techniques that we use to help our clients become clear, confident communicators.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately and we’ll coach you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email louise@nullbenjaminball.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.

 

Contact us to improve your investor presentations

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