Professor Sherman goes to Washington
June 25, 2012
Ann Sherman, associate professor of finance at DePaul, testified before a U.S. Senate Banking Committee Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The hearing focused on whether the initial public offering (IPO) process is transparent enough for ordinary investors and was prompted by concerns over a lack of disclosure in Facebook Inc.’s controversial IPO last month.
“The contribution that I hope to make today is to suggest the best way for the U.S. to guarantee a role for ordinary investors in IPOs, if and when we decide to do so,” said Sherman, whose research on IPOs has appeared in top finance journals and who was consulted on the Google IPO.
Among her recommendations was giving individual investors better access to so-called road shows, in which executives for companies looking to go public meet with analysts and prospective institutional investors in various cities to pitch the stock and take questions. The invitation-only events typically exclude individual investors.
Sherman testified that the road shows can provide valuable insights because they allow investors and analysts to observe how nimble the company’s managers are during the presentation. “Although the managers are prepped in advance and have rehearsed their answers, investors still apparently find value in watching them on their feet, dealing with tough questions,” she told the committee. “Facebook’s management learned this recently when, on the first day of its road show, it drastically shortened the Q&A time to instead show a video.”