Don’t have any plans on January 24? Might we suggest something? Great, thanks. Frank Quattrone, yes, that Frank Quattrone, of moustachioed fame, will be orating at the Western Association of Venture Capitalists’ luncheon, the first in a series of “distinguished speakers.” This is not something you want to miss and there appears to be no drink minimum, so you really have no excuse. On a related note, Jeff Skilling is in contract for a series of classes at the Learning Annex, slated for 2031.
QUATTRONE GETS ‘LEGIT’ TREATMENT [NYPost]
We’re irrationally exuberant about Frank Quattrone getting back into the game. We almost want to send him our resume and try to sign on for another round deal making. This Fortune article doesn’t do much to quell our excitement.
For years the three men were by far the most powerful bankers in Silicon Valley. Both Boutros and Brady now occupy top positions at Credit Suisse – Boutros represented Pixar in its $7.4 billion sale to Disney – but it’s thought that they would jump at the chance to join Quattrone in a new venture. And Quattrone may seek to recruit other former colleagues from Credit Suisse and elsewhere.
One story making the rounds is that someone asked Eric Varvel, co-head of investment banking at Credit Suisse, whether he was concerned about Quattrone’s luring away talent. Varvel, famously unflappable, feigned indifference – but a vein on his neck throbbed noticeably. Quattrone and Credit Suisse declined to comment.
That deet about the throbbing vein is awesome. How do you deny you throbbed?
Frank Quattrone 2.0 [Fortune on CNNMoney.com]
What did the prosecution of Frank Quattrone accomplish? More than three years and two trials after prosecutors first charged him with obstruction of justice—one of those meta-crimes that prosecutors resort to when they cannot prove more substantive crimes—Frank Quattrone has reached a settlement agreement that will dismiss all charges against him if he avoids breaking the law for one year. How much was spent by the US government to twice prosecute this man only to accomplish a one-year promise of good behavior? How much did Quattrone have to spend on his defense? How many deals never got done because Quattrone was kept out of Silicon Valley while he defended himself?
The only good to come of any of this seems to be a reminder that we need to remain skeptical of prosecutors eager to find wrong-doing among entrepreneurs and bankers. But that sure was a costly reminder.
US judge oks Quattrone settlement, avoids trial [Reuters]
Marketwatch’s David Weidner argues that leaky-Chinese-Wall poster boy Frank Quattrone’s third trial is beside the point because the government isn’t going after Quattrone for “possibility that Quattrone accepted what amounted to bribes for allotments of IPO shares”:
Proponents of a third trial say a conviction on the obstruction charge will send a powerful message to Wall Street. If so, what’s the message? Don’t accept kickbacks for hot IPOs? Don’t obstruct justice?
Wait. We thought the message was “don’t use email.” We’re confused…
Frankly, it’s about the IPOs [CBS Marketwatch]
Quattrone was once one of Silicon Valley’s most successful financiers of technology companies during the days when red-hot initial public offerings would routinely double, triple or more in price, netting huge profits for early investors. He managed the IPOs of such well-known companies as Cisco Systems, Netscape Communications and Amazon.com.
This means that we’ve finally come full circle. The guy who did the Netscape IPO is on trial for the third time, Jason Calacanis is running Netscape while Marc Andreesen does a social networking startup and red-hot IPOs are back to doubli–well, not yet. But soon.