PIPE HYPE

Larry Goldfarb, the head of Larkspur, California-based BayStar Capital, which makes private investments in public equities, or PIPEs, sure knows how to put the “fun” into “fund manager.” From a recent blurb that appeared in the New York Post's infamous Page 6: “[Film star] Sean Penn needed two security guards at Nocturne to fend off women who wanted to press his flesh. Penn came in about 1 am the other night to a party thrown by his friend, Larry Goldfarb, a Marin County hedge fund wizard, who had three bands, 10 go-go girls in various forms of undress, magnums of champagne, and a very favorable female-to-male ratio – about eight women to every man.”

If this was BayStar's annual meeting, we're doubly impressed.

QUOTABLE
The Friday afternoon sub-optimal private equity portfolio days are numbered.

David Gamble, former chief executive of British Airways Pension Investment Management, calling for a new professionalism on the private equity buy side at EVCA's Annual Symposium in Berlin, June 2004.

In today's market, losing a deal will probably kill you.

Nigel McConnell of Electra Partners Europe, speaking at the EVCA Annual Symposium in Berlin, telling delegates that write-offs have become a much more serious risk to a private equity franchise than they used to be.

Critics of Sarbanes-Oxley argue that [it is] launching an exodus of public companies back into private ownership… [W]e have not seen any hard data demonstrating that this is taking place.

Paul Volker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, and Arthur Levitt, former SEC chairman (and current Carlyle partner) in a Wall Street Journal commentary defending Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation.

QUOTABLE
Some of the worst public companies we have acquired at Alchemy had the best corporate governance structures. Forcing companies to have a majority of independent directors is irrelevant if the chief executive and finance director are no good.

Alchemy's outspoken founder Jon Moulton, telling the Financial Times what he thinks of recent boardroom reforms in the UK.

Any meeting where the GPs speak more than 60 percent of the time is not a good meeting.

Bill Miles, director of investor relations, Terra Firma Capital Partners, on how to prepare for a fundraising, speaking last month at the 2004 European Private Equity COOs and CFOs Forum, London.

The concept of too much money chasing too few transactions – in the latestage [strategy] – has clearly been abated.

Michael Klein, CEO of global banking, Citigroup, on the decline of the capital overhang in private equity, speaking at the 2004 European Private Equity COOs and CFOs Forum.