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CEOs and Venture Capitalists Expect Higher investment in 2014

Venture capitalists (VCs) and CEOs of venture-backed companies are showing a mix of greater optimism, confidence and measured concern for the venture ecosystem in 2014 according to the results from this year’s Venture View predictions survey. The survey was conducted by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Dow Jones VentureSource. Respondents predict next year will bring improvements across several fronts, including greater IPO (initial public offering) volume for venture-backed companies, greater employment at startups and improved returns to limited fronts.

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Why ‘Golden Hellos’ Elicit Mixed Reactions

As more and more CEO have left their jobs in spectacular flame-outs—Ron Johnson’s short tenure at JCPenney comes to mind—there is a countertrend of companies luring top executives with multimillion-dollar “golden hello” signing bonuses. Bloomberg’s Jeff Green reports that the number of companies making upfront payments to get people to sign up has jumped to more than 70 in 2013 from 41 in 2012, according to governance advisory firm GMI Ratings.

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Four Things to Get Right in Fast Growth Markets

As chief executives in the US scour the world for growth, they find the largest opportunities in some of the youngest markets. The fastest growing continent in the world is Africa, a two trillion dollar market where a third of the countries are growing at an annual rate of six percent or more. Here’s how to get one’s investment in fast-growing markets right.

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Interpreting the Job Creation Data for Job Creators

U.S. employers added 169,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent from 7.4 percent the previous month. Economists had been expecting job expansion of about 170,000 to 200,000. The Washington Post scores this as a clear signal for an improving economy while The New York Times and other media are more circumspect. Both seem to ignore the fact that if the economy were to fill the jobs gap left by the recession within the next four years, around 300,000 jobs a month would need to be created, according to the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. Why business leaders should take a cautious look and see what’s behind the data.

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Only in California: When Tax Breaks Become Tax Liabilities

It doesn’t get much more absurd. Over the last five years the state of California handed out over $120 million in tax credits and incentives for specific small business startups. Guess what? The state’s Franchise Tax Board is asking for all that money back. Only Sacramento could devise a scheme to change the rules and sock it to job creators.

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Tax Inversion: One Way to Lower One’s Corporate Tax without Waiting for Washington

A growing number of US companies are set to save hundreds of millions of dollars in tax by relocating to Europe after completing takeovers of Europeon firm, according to a report in the Financial Times. ”Some of the biggest mergers and acquisitions so far in 2013 have involved so-called “tax inversions” – where a US acquirer shifts overseas, to Europe in particular, to pay a lower rate. These deals have come at a time when politicians in Washington have been increasing their calls for corporate tax reform.”

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How to Use Financial Processes to Be Strategic and Transformational

Financial processes aren’t just about the numbers. The way you plan and decide budgets, and then track financial performance, has far-reaching impacts on strategy decisions, strategy execution, teamwork, culture, and innovation, as well as cost control. First step is to think of your business as a set of businesses within a business. Here’s how to go about it.

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Why M&A Activity May Suffer

Last June, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell the most in 19 months after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank could cut back monthly bond purchases later this year. This change in Fed activity might send interest rates up, assert Wall Street advisors, whose business has benefited from low interest rates and record share prices. M&A experts are dampening forecasts for the next six months as a result of added uncertainty of valuations.

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