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Frank’s Back

Frank Quattrone made a lot of people a lot of money. He was the i-banker of Web 1.0. Now he’s beaten the charges related to the IPOs he ran for CSFB during the Internet boom. Of course, those who actually remember ancient history (back around the turn of the millenium), would know that Quattrone was never charged directly with the securities violations everyone knew he committed. He was charged with the cover up. He beat that rap.


So now in this new era of Web 2.x, Frank’s back. But things have changed, there’s Sarbanes Oxley, start ups are trying get by without VC funding, and the “first day IPO pop” has been revealed to be the most expensive advertising a company could possible do (as well as an opportunity for the kind of securities violations that Quattrone was originally suspected of). It was the difference between the IPO price and the first trade price that traditional bankers like Quattrone were able to parlay into a network of favors, and a pipeline of deals.

Here in the Bay area, we think the new crop of Web businesses are probably due for a shake out. But it’s also acknowledged that there are some better business models out there that really organically fit into the Web. If there’s a bubble today, it’s a much smaller one. It’ll be interesting to see how Frank will emerge. He wants to get back into the scene, maybe it’ll be M&A this time.

Published in economics ibanks value venture capital zettel