Friday, July 25, 2008

Quattrone Takes Aim at Hurdles to Going Public

Frank Quattrone, the former star investment banker whose career was derailed by a four-year fight against obstruction of justice charges, has a bone to pick with regulators who he believes are making it tougher than necessary for start-ups to go public.

“I think the industry should petition to remove the Spitzer initiative,” The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Mr. Quattrone as saying at the AlwaysOn conference for start-ups at Stanford University. “It hurts the competitiveness of our country to deny companies access to research analysts.”

Mr. Quattrone was referring to former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s mandate forcing the separation of investment banking from research, following an investigation into whether some Wall Street analysts were misleading ratings of the companies they covered to boost their firm’s investment banking business.

“He took two research analysts [Henry Blodget and Jack Grubman] who might have — might have — told untruths and turned it into a witch hunt. These [startups] are trying to change the world and we have to change that back,” The Chronicle quoted Mr. Quattrrone as saying."

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