May 27, 2016

Big Shoes

Big Shoes

Today is not your average Friday at Marcum. At 4:00 pm this afternoon, Marcum will be ringing the closing bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite. It’s an honor in recognition of the 2016 Marcum MicroCap Conference, which will take place next week on Wednesday and Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Nasdaq is one of our conference sponsors this year, which is a great fit, since the event is dedicated to providing a forum for companies with less than $500 million in market capitalization to network with the investment community. The ceremonial bell ringing at the Nasdaq exchange will be streamed live; if you’re interested, you can watch it on YouTube.

When I stop to consider how far the Marcum MicroCap Conference has come in the five years since my partner, David Bukzin, who heads up our SEC Services practice, first scribbled his idea on a napkin, it reminds me of the power of a good idea and the resolve to make it happen. Two thousand people and counting are registered to attend next week, including company executives, investors, investment bankers, analysts and others from every corner of the microcap marketplace.

I won’t recount the whole history of the event here, as quite a few of you have heard it before. For anyone who hasn’t, you might find it interesting to visit the event website to get a sense of the magnitude of what David and Marcum’s SEC Services Practice group have managed to pull off. It’s really pretty impressive.

This year for the first time we are going to two full days. Alongside the 150 or so companies presenting their investment stories, there will be panels led by industry experts on a whole host of topics, ranging from The Current Environment for Raising Capital in the Public Markets to Opportunities and Challenges of Investing in Cannabis Companies, to name just two. Investors will have the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with management teams from presenting companies, and of course there will be lots of networking going on, not to mention socializing at the kick-off cocktail party on May 31, followed by the gala reception on June 1.

One of the highlights of the conference every year is our keynote speaker. We’ve been pretty fortunate in attracting some top name people in past years, and this year is no exception. On Day One, we will have Harvey Pitt, the former chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission (“Navigating the Challenges of the Microcap Public Markets”). On Day 2, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (who is rumored to be on Donald’s very short list for the Veep spot), will be our headliner (“The Global Perspective: Intelligence and Insight on World Events”). They follow in footsteps left by some pretty big shoes. Last year, Dick Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers, chose the Marcum MicroCap Conference as the place to make his first public remarks since the investment bank’s demise. In 2014, Rudy Giuliani, NYC’s former mayor, graced us with his perspective on the world according to Rudy Giuliani. As neither of this year’s speakers is known to be shy or retiring, I’m quite certain we will be treated to another memorable experience.

Given everything that’s going on in the markets and the world right now, the 2016 Marcum MicroCap Conference has the makings of another sure-fire success. I congratulate David and everyone at our Firm who has been part of producing this major undertaking, and for setting the bar so high. I’m proud to be on your team.

On another note, today is the unofficial start of summer and the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. Let us all pay tribute to those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. We are truly blessed to live in the best country in the world, and I cannot thank enough those whose calling has been to preserve and protect this great land.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody.