Last updated: 17 march, 2010 - 15:00 GMT

How To Make Your First Billion Blog: Part 8

New york skyscrapers

ThreeTimesG launched in New York City's business district

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Part of an article written by Ben Clarke

Drama and the Road Show

Science. That’s what we'd like it to be.

A forensic examination of the facts. The dispassionate and objective assessment of investment opportunities. Price/earning ratios. Numerical values and quantitative analysis.

We love these things. And yet we know they tell, at most, only part of the story.

ThreeTimesG is a US company three weeks away from an Initial Public Offering. I went to their first roadshow in a hotel conference suite in downtown New York City.

We know what to expect. The glossy brochure. The snappy PowerPoint. The management team, nervous and over-rehearsed - their presentation coach taking notes at the back of the room.

And then - enter Banquo's ghost. An apparition: Vera Cox - at one time one of the most respected commentators in Wall Street - stands up to make a personal attack on CEO Jake Armstrong.

She raised questions about his qualities as a leader, and about his competence as a businessman. She questions his personal integrity.

And this in the land of litigation, in a city where you are never, ever more than two yards away from a lawyer.

And just for a moment we had a glimpse behind the curtain, of a hidden history, of some long-held grudge. We sit back and enjoy the entertainment - the moment when a IPO road show turns into high drama.

But part of us knows that this is a salutary reminder that companies are led by people. They employ people, they make a difference to the lives of countess other people.

And people who run companies make mistakes and enemies, just like everyone else.

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