Capital Markets Advisory Services
With a particular expertise in convertible and derivative securities, our backgrounds provide a holistic foundation for issuance across equity, debt, and structured equity markets
Unconflicted Advocates - Our Mission Statement
Aequitas Advisors provides experienced, unconflicted advisory services to corporate clients at any stage of development, but principally during or in anticipation of capital raising, exchange or restructuring initiatives. Our input is derived from comprehensive analysis of our clients’ needs and available alternatives with a view toward maximizing the value derived from capital markets activity, preserving financial flexibility and reducing “all-in” cost of capital.
Capital Markets Advisory Services; an informed Issuer obtains the best results
We team exclusively with management, sitting on the same side of the table to help determine the most appropriate financing strategies and solutions. We assist throughout the underwriting process with a view toward getting the company the best, most efficient execution. Efficiency involves not just accelerating the path to market, but helping management filter, condense and analyze the most pertinent information to make better, more informed decisions. The less time spent trying to understand the nuances of an inherently complex and opaque process, the more time management has to focus on its core business. This said, Aequitas does not seek to supplant management’s role, but rather to enhance it with unconflicted input, analytical support and strategic guidance. We strongly believe companies need to establish and maintain healthy relationships with their investment banks and that financing transactions represent the clearest opportunity to reward past service and incent ongoing support. Regarding Aequitas’ role, if management does not feel, by the end of the process, we have provided value greater than the cost of our services – streamlining and clarifying the mechanics of the process and facilitating better execution – we have not done our job properly.
The success of any financing begins with identification of the proper solution. This is found at the intersection of three factors; the objectives of management and the board, the financial profile and required flexibility of the business and the market receptivity and relative price efficiency of the various asset class alternatives. Aequitas’ years of experience in sales, trading, banking and capital markets, give us a unique perspective on identifying not only what works for our clients, but also what will find traction in the marketplace. The value of this lies in the fact nothing more directly impacts the quality of deal execution then the tension of robust demand. We have familiarity across the capital markets spectrum - equity, equity-linked, high yield and bank debt – and will consider the pros, cons and dynamics of each in helping our clients craft the right solution.
Evaluating the Banks
Inviting banks to present their credentials and financing proposals – the so-called “bake off” – provides corporations with extraordinary insight into how each views them as an issuer. But this insight is gained only by asking the right questions and reading between the lines. As a company seeking to engage an investment bank for capital raising or related transactions (and preparing to pay a considerable fee in doing so), you occupy the enviable role of client. Without any explicit commitment, you are able to employ some of the most knowledgeable and experienced bankers in your industry to craft presentations highly tailored to your needs. These presentations, one of the principal outputs of the prodigious intellectual capacity at work on Wall Street, contain detailed information on each bank’s view of your industry, your firm, your positioning with investors and the markets broadly and on a granular basis. At this point in the process – where the competitive dynamics between banks are strongest – you as client have the greatest ability to question, request additional information and leverage your position. Aequitas will help management teams set the appropriate competitive tone throughout this process and assist in evaluating and analyzing various proposals in an effort to align the information and ideas they contain with the company’s financing needs.
Following the interview process, managements need to structure a transaction “team” and negotiate fees. This step has broad implications for the success of the financing. The objective is to leverage the fee to be paid in a manner that maximizes the likelihood of a well placed and priced deal and establishes a path for aftermarket services such as research coverage, trading support and investor access. Aequitas can help ensure all parties remain focused on you, the issuing client, throughout, with a view toward delivering near and long-term results.
The Order Book, Negotiation & Pricing
As marketing nears completion, the order book will begin to take form. With input from the entire underwriting team, years of “hands on” experience and independent insight into the state of the deal, Aequitas can help management understand its position and potential leverage at pricing. We can also identify and advise how to address or challenge any changes, points of risk, imbedded costs or other issues that may impact the “all-in” cost or flexibility of a financing. Additionally, given the strong sales backgrounds of our principals, we have experience positioning transactions to appeal to a broad pool of potential investors or move undecided parties off the fence. If required, we can help management strategize with its deal team in this capacity.
Robustness of Process
Since the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002, the legal and regulatory framework surrounding issues of corporate governance has been marked by heightening levels of fiduciary duty and potential D&O liability. This has been mirrored, on the investment bank side of the financial services industry, by requirements for similarly elevated levels of indemnification. The result is that investment banks today typically serve without fiduciary or agency obligation to their clients. This dynamic makes it increasingly important for corporations to underpin any material actions with thorough and diligent processes. Aequitas believes its approach is directly supportive of those efforts.
Post Transaction Support/Additional Services
Aequitas Advisors can also continue to be available to management and the board for questions, analysis and strategic planning on an ongoing basis. Such services may include a review of unsolicited financing or restructuring proposals submitted to the company or the repurchase, redemption or refinancing of existing securities. In a number of these instances, utilization of an investment bank can be problematic, but the need for experienced, independent, unconflicted advice remains. Aequitas seeks to provide that advice; putting our securities and transaction experience to work to help our clients obtain the best results.
© 2010 Aequitas Advisors, LLC