If You Want Your IPO To Be A Success, Hire Fewer Bankers

Heather Timmons | Quartz | May 2, 2014

Chinese pork producer WH Group pulled a much-anticipated $1.9 billion IPO this week, citing “deteriorating market conditions.” What this really means is “we couldn’t raise the money we expected,” and now the recrimination and finger-pointing has started.

How is it possible that a well-regarded company that produces pork, a product China can’t seem to get enough of, couldn’t go public in Hong Kong, a market where a number of Chinese companies have been successful?

The aborted IPO had a record-breaking 29 banks and brokerages signed up as underwriters, so there is a lot of blame to go around. The banks “were too confident, and even a bit arrogant,” one WH Group insider told the South China Morning Post. Bankers were “were worried to tell the truth to the company and just said what the client wanted to hear,” someone briefed on the deal told The New York Times...