Posted: April 16, 2018
Every single Peterson Capital client has a story to tell.
Public, private, start-up or $500 million market cap – it doesn’t matter. Every one of them has a story, and it has to sell. Our job is to help make sure that happens.
We take a very, very pro-active role in delivering a client’s story. We help craft it and shape its delivery. We develop a compelling Fact Sheet that highlights a company’s key selling points. We then get it in front of the right Investment Advisors, fund managers, investment bankers or family office managers. Across Canada and in Europe.
That’s what we love best about what we do: going on the road, with clients, 1x1, meeting with friends and colleagues in our Peterson Capital network. We love sharing the passion and optimism we have in our clients’ stories. Telling a story – and selling a story.
And totally buying into what our clients are trying to do – create wealth, grow their businesses, and in doing so, help finance Canada’s future.
We are proactive in our 1x1 meetings. We know the IA or fund manager on the other side of the table. We know what resonates with them, and what they expect of us. So, we’ll steer the conversation. We’ll jump in and bring up points, pose questions, move things along and – most importantly - will stop when it’s time to do so. No meeting lasts longer than 30-45 minutes. Twenty minutes is really all we need.
We leave our meetings with our audience wanting more. That’s why we are always welcomed back. Again and again and again. Since 2003.
But no matter how proactive we are, the most essential factor in the success of our work is the ability of our clients’ management teams to deliver the story in their own words with passion, conviction and truth. If we don’t have that to work with, no matter how strong the fundamentals are, the story falls flat.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on the road with four people, from two different companies, all who are true professionals. Nobody’s better than they are at telling a powerful, compelling story about their business.
Teranga’s CFO, Navin Dyal, has been my road warrior partner for three years. He is an extremely rare commodity: a CFO – a numbers guy - who can pitch a strong, convincing and compelling story. Most CFOs have a natural tendency to dive deep down into the weeds of financial statements and accounting rules, where they are most comfortable – and which is where most audiences are lost. Navin’s got a rare gift of being able to highlight these when needed, but he excels at taking a big picture of the company. He is realistic about the challenges and, at the same time, highlights the upside. He will focus in on the catalysts and key milestones of the Teranga story. No hype – just a confident, congenial and cool delivery.
Put him on a panel with back-and-forth Q&A and conversation and he absolutely kills it. Most CFOs freeze like a deer in the headlights in that situation. Not our guy, Navin. He knocks it out of the park.
John Newell & Navin Dyal
Trish Moran & Sepanta Dorri
In mid-March I went to Switzerland with Sepanta Dorri, the company’s VP, Corporate and Stakeholder Development, and Trish Moran, Teranga’s Head of IR.
We attended a two-day mining conference in Zurich and Geneva, and also built in some meetings with fund managers outside of the conference. I’d never sat in a presentation meeting with the two of them together before – and to say I was impressed is an understatement. I was blown away.
Why? As a tag team they fed off of each other, and delivered a crisp, engaging and compelling message going back and forth, with Sepanta delivering the key points and Trish steering the conversation where it needed to go. I sat back, said nothing, enjoyed what I was seeing and drank the great coffee and ate the little chocolates the Swiss serve at all of these meetings.
A huge discovery with Trish and Sepanta. They led their pitch with one of Teranga’s strongest points that I wasn’t sure would be widely accepted in Switzerland: the company’s corporate social responsibility record. Teranga was the recipient of the PDAC Environmental and Social Responsibility award last year. The success the company has earned by working deeply with the community, including helping women start businesses in Senegal, has paved the way for their entry and success in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire.
This pitch, woven into the fundamental strengths of the company, raised eyebrows in Switzerland. It was different. It was compelling. And these two women delivered it with passion and conviction – and left the audience wanting more.
Four years ago Phil Deschamps, a dual nationality, Canadian-US health care commercialization executive, with zero capital markets experience at the time, took Helius Medical Technologies public with a $7 million financing on the Canadian Securities Exchange. The largest financing ever done on the CSE.
Phil Deschamps and “Khaya”
Since then, he’s taken this medical device company to the TSX, raised nearly $70 million in equity, built his company to a market cap $240 million, and last week just completed a cross-border financing led by a major US health care investment bank, and completed a concurrent listing for Helius on NASDAQ.
Phil is, in my mind, the poster boy for how the public venture capital markets in Canada should work. With significant help at the start and throughout this whole journey from David Eaton and his colleagues at Baron Financial in Vancouver, this initial listing and ongoing success story is nothing short of amazing. And it’s only in the third inning of where Phil wants to take the company.
How did this rookie public company CEO do so well? As his wingman on countless road trips across Canada for the past three years, I can give you an answer: Phil is an extremely passionate, tireless and enthusiastic evangelist for his company.
When you sit in a meeting with Phil, his energy and passion clearly come to the front. He will knock off 10-12 one-on-one meetings in a day, and will be as good on the last meeting as he was on the first. Trying to keep up to his pace, sprinting between offices and jaywalking or against pedestrian red lights in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City is not easy – if you don’t bring your A-game with you, he’ll leave you in the dust.
And here’s the huge differentiator: Phil absolutely, passionately and almost fervently believes in his product, his company and its mission. Helius has an experimental medical device that helps heal patients with traumatic brain injury and disease. He carries videos around on his phone that literally bring tears to his eyes showing how Helius has helped change the lives of patients.
Even more, Phil’s passion for everything he does in life just oozes from him. His family, his community, the two countries he calls home, and – especially – his Golden Retriever, Khaya.
What’s the common thread that makes these four people so great at pitching their stories?
Passion. Relentless, focussed and deeply rooted passion for what they do and what they want to accomplish.
Navin Dyal, Sepanta Dorri, Trish Moran and Phil Deschamps have it in spades. Truly believing and investing in their stories, and walking the talk to back it up.