Ince’s opening question asks if Weisel feels his company can compete with the “big boys” of finance as they get bigger and hope to become “one-stop shops” for financial services. Weisel replies that not only does he believe Thomas Weisel Partners can compete, but also that many of the practices larger companies were implementing at the time would not work. Thomas Weisel Partners was then the fastest-growing financial startup, having attained $186 million in its first year and $500 million in its second.
Answering a question about how companies were going public much sooner than was traditional, Weisel discusses his belief that such companies were going public when they should have stayed private. He demonstrates extensive knowledge of the stock market and its trends.
Weisel also provides advice on how to navigate through a volatile stock market: “Focus and deep domain expertise is a critical value added component,” he says. “Corporations need to be very, very smart about when and how they access capital markets to their advantage. They’ve got to make volatility their friend and not their enemy.”
Weisel also offers insights into the future of the business industry and the new techniques companies would use to elevate themselves. “Many people are justifying ridiculously high prices by using supposedly new metrics,” he said. “But the marketplace is not really changing the method of valuation. If an investor falls into that trap, he’s going to lose a lot of money. This is all about marketplace.”
The interview concludes with continued discussion of IPOs and how companies raise funds for them. He shares further projections for the future of finance and analysis of possible challenges facing the industry.
The interview was originally published in Upside Magazine.