W.A.B. Capital fills a gap in the public equities markets that has existed since the late 1990s. Beginning in the 1990s, brokerages’ commissions and spreads declined precipitously. This had a profound effect on the brokerage industry, as numerous smaller and boutique brokerages merged into larger firms, or went out of business.
The traditional model whereby firms provided research coverage in exchange for trading commissions became largely unprofitable when applied to micro-cap stocks. As micro-cap trading volume is necessarily lower than for S&P 500 stocks, traditional brokerage activities are generally unable to support a full-fledged micro-cap research effort. A few brokerages still provide research coverage on micro-cap stocks, but they seldom involve road shows and concerted exposure efforts.
W.A.B. Capital’s business model allows micro-cap companies to reap the benefits of traditional research and sales coverage.
No, for two reasons.
First, we are focused on a particular task: exposing companies to micro-cap institutional investors. We believe that we service this niche better than anybody else. In contrast, IR firms handle a large number of functions to facilitate communicating with various market participants. Our service is not a substitute for an IR firm, rather it is nicely complementary.
Second, we maintain our objectivity at all times during the course of the relationship. As described in “For Companies,” when we perceive that a corporate client’s fundamentals are deteriorating, we orally advise our institutional clients of this change. Few IR firms are as objective in advising institutional investors.
No, but unfortunately “pump and dump” operators are the single largest headache we deal with. As mentioned in “For Companies,” we structure our agreements so that we are incentivized over the long-term. Moreover, were we to engage in such unsavory practices, we would lose all credibility with our institutional clients. This loss would quickly reflect itself in a declining track record with corporate clients, and thus be the end of our business. Therefore, we strive to work only with high-quality companies that can appreciate over the long-term.
Yes. W.A.B. discloses its compensation on the front page of all of its research reports. Its institutional clients are fully aware that W.A.B. receives compensation from the companies it brings on the road.
W.A.B. Capital’s research process takes several weeks. The first step is to thoroughly review a company’s SEC filings, press releases, and product / service information. Next, we hold an initial teleconference with the management to answer higher-level questions that we have relating to the company’s business and finances. Both parties then decide whether they would like to move forward.
If we move forward, W.A.B. Capital will visit the company at its place of business. In a day-long meeting, we will ask about and discuss almost every facet of the company in detail. Following the meeting, we will ask to be put in touch with suppliers, customers, and other important parties with whom the company does business. At the conclusion of the process, we will propose an agreement with the company.
W.A.B. Capital is not a broker, nor are we an investment bank. However, we have relationships with numerous trusted service providers, including investment banks, specialist firms, wealth managers, and attorneys.
W.A.B. Capital is very proud of its track record of success and satisfied corporate clients. We are happy to direct potential clients to past corporate clients who will candidly share their experiences in dealing with us. We will also provide samples of our in-depth research to interested potential corporate clients.