The stock market’s recent see-sawing is enough to make a securities lawyer queasy.
Horace Nash, the head of Fenwick & West’s securities group, starts his mornings with a cup of coffee and an eye on the markets. It’s felt good to watch the economy stabilize this year, he noted, to see the companies coming off the sidelines and filing for IPOs after a dry 2008-09. Tuesday morning, though, with the market opening down again, Nash’s coffee tasted more bitter than usual. “Every time the market drops, you wonder, is this the end? What’s this market going to do? Is it a little hiccup, or is it a sign that things have changed somehow? What’s it going to do to my deal? What’s it going to do to my client?” Nash said.
Fortunately, clients haven’t gotten spooked yet: Nash says no deals have been cancelled, but a number of companies in the pipeline are trying to decide whether to go public in June or September. He says Fenwick has three IPOs on file with the SEC, and two others lined up behind them. “I’m sure some IPOs that a couple of months ago people thought would be spring IPOs will turn out to be fall IPOs,” Nash said. “There’s that much more uncertainty.”
Nash isn’t too bullish on the economy “It’s not robust, but it’s not in terrible shape” but he’s confident it’ll take more than a Dow dip below 10,000 to rattle the battle-worn: “Our clients have lived through a very difficult economic environment and they’re pretty darned tough and resilient,” Nash said. “They’ll be fine in the next six months being tough and resilient.”