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Westwicke Blog

The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of investor relations and the capital markets, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

How to Communicate Bad News to Wall Street

Posted on September 19th, 2014. Posted by

Communicate Bad News to Wall Street

Even great companies with excellent management teams will face the inevitable challenge of having to communicate bad news to Wall Street. In a previous blog post, my colleague Tom McDonald discussed how to handle missing a quarter, but what about other results that can have a material impact on your business in the future?

In the healthcare industry, a number of things can go awry — a clinical trial that doesn’t meet your primary endpoint, a setback in your product’s regulatory approval process, a change in reimbursement policy, or a delay in your product launch date due to a manufacturing issue. Effectively communicating these scenarios with the Street can mitigate adverse reactions to your company’s reputation — and to your share price.

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The Biggest Mistakes Leading Up to an IPO

Posted on September 10th, 2014. Posted by

IPO Mistakes

The road to an initial public offering (IPO) can be long and arduous, and when not well planned and executed, subject to many missteps. Consider what happened recently to the Israeli biotech company, Vascular Biogenics (VBL Therapeutics). The company went public with an offering of 5.4 million shares. Less than a week later, the underwriters, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, terminated the offering when an existing shareholder did not fund payment for shares it previously agreed to purchase in the offering, according to a VBL Therapeutics press release.

While VBL’s pullback is clearly a draconian scenario, other mistakes abound as companies move toward an IPO. What are the most common mistakes on the path to an IPO? How can your company prevent them, and what can you do if you’re already in the thick of them? Our team of experts at Westwicke tackled these questions recently in a round-table discussion. Here are excerpts of the conversation.

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Selecting Your IPO Bookrunners

Posted on September 3rd, 2014. Posted by

IPO Bookrunners

Bookrunners play a significant role in the execution of a successful IPO transaction. Too often, though, a private company CEO does not fully appreciate the importance of selecting the right bank(s) to lead their IPO. It is vital to find the bookrunner(s) with the right combination of capabilities, experience, and “fit.”

Here are seven key considerations for evaluating potential bookrunner(s) for your IPO:

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Must-Haves on Your Investor Day Guest List

Posted on August 20th, 2014. Posted by

Investor Day

An investor day is a perfect opportunity to get the public up to speed on your corporate story, but compiling the appropriate guest list can be tricky. Having coordinated nearly 100 investor days as a firm, we know exactly who you should be targeting to attract the perfect audience for your event.

Current shareholders and covering analysts
First, and perhaps most obvious, you should invite your current shareholders and your covering analysts. These two groups have a vested interest in understanding every aspect of your business and will be most engaged and active in the discussions during the event. Additionally, given their relationships with your company, this group will show the highest attendance rate.

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Jumpstart Your Planning for the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Posted on August 13th, 2014. Posted by

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

While most of Wall Street is focusing on second quarter earnings and squeezing in vacations before Labor Day, it’s never too early to begin preparing for the J.P. Morgan 33rd Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this January, the premier healthcare investment conference of the year. If you are planning to attend but haven’t started thinking about logistics, you are already a little behind. Much of the meeting space and hotel rooms are already spoken for, so the time to start making arrangements is now.

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The IPO Express Lane: Steps You Can Take Now to Expedite Your IPO, Part II

Posted on August 6th, 2014. Posted by

IPO, Part 2

Your board is telling you to go public. Your peers are telling you that this IPO window may close at any moment. You believe your company is compelling enough for an IPO, but are you actually in the position to get one done in short order? How can you make an IPO move faster?

In my last post, I went over key — and sometimes overlooked — housekeeping items you can do to hit the ground running for an IPO, such as ensuring you have the right lawyers and auditors in place and getting a head start on your presentation and website. In this post, I’ll go over strategic choices that you’ll want to think through as soon as possible to improve your chances of a speedy and successful entry into the public markets.

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The IPO Express Lane: Steps to Expedite Your IPO, Part I

Posted on July 23rd, 2014. Posted by

From Startup to IPO

Despite some signs of resistance, initial public offerings (IPOs) continue to move along at a robust pace. With fears that the window may close, some company boards and management teams find themselves scrambling to enter the mix before it is too late. Perhaps by reflex, the first thing they often do is pick up the phone to call an investment bank.

However, before you join their ranks and take your first banker pitch, there are some key – and sometimes overlooked – steps you can take now to ensure you hit the ground running.

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The Eight Biggest IR Mistakes

Posted on July 16th, 2014. Posted by

IR Mistakes

Whether your company is on the road to an initial public offering (IPO) or currently operating as a publicly traded company, cultivating and then maintaining a strong relationship with Wall Street requires strategic planning and thoughtful execution. Interacting with the buy-side and sell-side is not a simple process, and we often observe companies making mistakes in their investor relations (IR) programs that can damage management’s credibility with the Street.

What are some common IR mistakes healthcare companies make, and how can you avoid them? To answer, I turned recently to the Westwicke team — and its more than 200 years of combined Wall Street experience. Here’s what they told me.

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Planning for the First 100 Days After Your IPO

Posted on July 9th, 2014. Posted by

First 100 Days of an IPO

You worked hard to prepare for your IPO and made it to the first day of trading. Celebrations are certainly in order, but there is plenty of work in the pipeline. In fact, operating as a newly public company presents a whole new set of challenges.

When it comes to investor relations, the focus of your first 100 days as a public company is to educate and communicate with investors and analysts — and to build on the momentum of the IPO to establish credibility, refine your messaging and vision, and provide the information that key stakeholders need. During this time period, your investor relations (IR) function should be in full swing with set procedures, policies, and designated spokespeople in place. In addition to delivering a well-crafted message, meeting with investors, and responding to analyst requests, we recommend that you create a strategic IR plan for the next 12 months and start preparing to report quarterly earnings for the first time.

Below, we share our view of some of the most important tasks during your first 100 days.

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Core Elements of an Effective IR Plan

Posted on June 24th, 2014. Posted by

Investor Relations Plan

For public healthcare companies and those on the road to an initial public offering (IPO), crafting an effective investor relations (IR) program is essential, and can significantly enhance the investment appeal of your company. Whether your company’s investor relations efforts are new – say, the result of going public – or just in need of a fresh perspective (let’s call it a “reset”), it’s important to keep in mind a few core elements as you plan.

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