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‘If Facebook’s Profit Model Stays the Same, This Valuation Doesn’t Make Any Sense’ –Espen Roback, Pluris, in The Atlantic

The most highly anticipated IPO in history didn't put on much of a show. Facebook closed today within decimal points of its opening price of $38. Even so, the company's market cap is higher than McDonald's or Pepsico. Espen Robak is the president of Pluris Valuation Advisors, where he studies and values private companies trading on the secondary market. Derek Thompson at The Atlantic talked to him this morn ...

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Study: Independent Board Is Key to Family Business Succession Plans

A relatively unexplored area of family business research is the role that an active, independent board of directors can play in perpetuating the family business from one generation to the next.  David Thayne Liebell reports at Trusts & Estates that a  recently published book, Building A Successful Family Business Board, seeks to close that research gap. In fact, according to the book’s authors, an activ ...

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Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things

Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things NPR's Chana Joffe-Walt and Alix Spiegel have put together a fascinating podcast that examines the psychology of fraud. It often isn’t as easily explained as bad people doing bad things. Ethicists and psychologists have documented an unusually high number of people who start out, in their minds, doing the right thing. The story follows the case of Toby Grove ...

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Upcoming 2013 Webinars

Thursday, May 23, 2013Business Valuation Webinar Week: Valuation Issues of Renewable Energy InterestsTime: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Pacific / 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Mountain / 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Central / 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. EasternCPE: 1 hourPrice: $145.00 Purchase WebinarThursday, May 23, 2013Valuation Databases to Improve Efficiency—Using Duff & Phelps Risk Premium Report and Risk Premium CalculatorTime: ...

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5 Ways to Destroy Company Value: Poor Ownership Structures, Bad Liquidity Timing, Pointless Acquisitions, Weak Balance Sheets, and Mindless Growth

GigaOm M&A Advisor:  "Sales Don't Create Value.  What You Do Creates Value."  GigaOm M&A Advisor Marty Wolf explains how, especially in the tech field, five great ways to destroy your company include: 1. Opportunistic acquisitions 2. Growth for the sake of growth 3. Weak balance sheet 4. Convoluted ownership structures 5. Missing the window on a liquidity event How does this play out in the real wor ...

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Small Business Owners Off by 60% When Estimating Company Value, Says Study

Good Grasp on Value Enables Better Tax & Retirement Planning, Reduces Conflicts The Washington Post's On Small Business blog cites data from a variety of sources that indicate most small business owners don't have a good grasp on the value of their business.  Written by Gerald Radican, the piece on the Post blog cites these findings from Spardata, a Maryland-based valuation firm: A typical business owne ...

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Estates & Trusts: Fiduciaries Personally Liable if They Don’t Pay Government Claims First

In United States v. David A. Taylor IRS Lays Down the Law The Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof blog reports on a recent case demonstrating that if a fiduciary has a duty to pay a claim of the government before paying a debt—or they may be personally liable for the unpaid claims of the government!   Here are some of the case details: David J. Tyler and Paula I. Tyler were a married couple who held real proper ...

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Daubert Challenges Up 250% – PwC Study

Weeding out Junk Science?  Or Scaring Off Competent Experts?  Are Daubert challenges really weeding out “junk science” and “pseudoscience” in the courtroom, or could it be that they are actually scaring off good, competent experts? Given the numbers alone, one can’t help but wonder.  Bullseye, a Legal Blog on Expert Topics, reports on a new study that examines the question. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 19 ...

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Walked Into a Lamppost? Hurt While Crocheting? Find Correct Billing Code Here.

New Medical Billing-Code Provides Precision; Nine Codes for Macaw Mishaps  Today, hospitals and doctors use a system of about 18,000 codes to describe medical services in bills they send to insurers, Anna Wilde Matthews reported in the Wall Street Journal not too long ago.  Apparently, that doesn't allow for quite enough nuance.: A new federally mandated version will expand the number to around 140,000—addi ...

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What are the Accounting Rules for Selling Web-based Subscriptions? —CRM Buyer

There's No Accounting for the Subscription Economy  It's taken over 10 years to get the idea of the subscription economy into our noggins, but we've barely started internalizing what it takes to support it and report on it as a business, reports Dennis Pombriant at CRM Buyer. Add "Accounting" for 32 Points and a Triple Score “Wall Street types are very accustomed to companies selling products rather than su ...

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Oscars Neglect “Margin Call”—But Film Offers Solid Insight, Claims NYT Columnist

The Unjustly Neglected "Margin Call"  Ross Douthat at the New York Times thinks the Oscars missed crediting an important film this year: Speaking of Noah Millman, reading his Oscar post reminds me that my own comments on the year in movies neglected to mention what was perhaps the most striking injustice of the Best Picture nominations: The lack of any love for “Margin Call,” which was, as Millman writes, “ ...

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Digital Forensics & Corporate Investigations

Corporate Investigations Increasingly Aided with Digital Forensics Digital investigators can do more than retrieve data from devices. They can also use data to reconstruct past events to explain how computers were used to perpetrate wrongdoing.  Info4Security has introduced a new column, the Forensic Technologist, which will be written by Ernst & Young’s Simon Placks and explore how computer forensics a ...

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Wall Street’s Sexiest Model: Black-Scholes

Blame Disaster on Bad Inputs. Black-Scholes Works. The last few years have given us plenty of reasons to hate financial models. Models that promised to increase efficiency and manage risk became substitutes for common sense and justifications for greed. The real estate bubble was of course justified by them. Yet people at hedge funds and trading firms, using models to mint money, remain passionate believers ...

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SEC Queries Private Equity Valuations

Increased Scrutiny for Private Equity Valuations The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has started an informal inquiry of private equity firms, asking for a broad range of documents on how the funds value assets and who invests in them, reports Bloomberg's BusinessWeek.   The agency’s Los Angeles office last year sent letters to several firms asking for details on fund investments and the valuation of ...

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Family Law: Income Streams, Valuation, and Divorce

How Divorce Can Affect Business Valuation Stanley Morganstern at the Ohio Family Law Observer reports that recent case in Ohio illustrates the difficulty of valuing business assets in a divorce. Courts should avoid "double dipping," or counting a business' income toward valuation and spousal support. Instead, judges are to separate current and future income from the business' material assets before making t ...

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Private Equity & Middle Market

Why PE and the Middle Market Tied the Knot Robert Teitelman at The Deal explains:  . . . This is the first of six special issues The Deal magazine will dedicate to the middle market in 2012, with a particular emphasis on a participant that, over the past four decades, emerged from that vast and diverse pool of midmarket companies: private equity. The current political debate tends to overlook the fact that ...

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The IRS’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ are Getting Old

The IRS's 'Dirty Dozen' are Getting Old     So opines Gail Perry at AccountingWeb:  I for one am getting pretty bored with the tax scams on this list - they hardly change at all from year to year. It's time for some creative criminals out there to come up with something new. From the comments section: My brother ran a Schedule C Anvil Repair Shop from his garage in order to claim home office deduction, depr ...

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The Ten Biggest Family Businesses in the U.S.

The Ten Biggest Family Businesses in the U.S. Business Insurance lists them: Wal-Mart Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer and most successful family business of all time. In 1962, founder Sam Walton took his knowledge of discount retailing and opened the first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Ark. It wasn't long before Sam expanded his business and opened up hundreds, then thousands of stores worldwide. After ...

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Accounting for Nuts: Blame a misalignment of incentives for the scandal at Diamond Foods.

Accounting for Nuts:  Blame a misalignment of incentives for the scandal at Diamond Foods.    The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins opines:  "Business people talk about "alignment of incentives." The lesson here may concern a peculiar misalignment of incentives."  He explains: Here's the executive summary: Diamond was a cooperative owned by California walnut growers until it became a publicly traded comp ...

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Kravis: No Better Time than Now to Be Making Investments”

Kravis: No Better Time than Now to Be Making Investments"    Private Equity International's James Taylor reports that at an invitation-only event in Monaco, the KKR co-founder said that low interest rates and a lack of capital offer 'enormous' opportunities for private equity: Kolhberg Kravis Roberts co-founder Henry Kravis struck a bullish tone in a speech in Monaco this week, dismissing talk of a "hard la ...

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