FOLLOW UP – A Key To The Largest IPO In The History Of The World

I met Scott Cutler through a friend IN THE EARLY 2000’S. When we first became acquainted, he was early in his career as an investment banker. I could tell immediately that Scott was an up and comer. He was based in New York city, a member of our mutual faith, a fellow lover of the game of golf and someone who was going to carve his name in the annals of business history. That was over a decade ago. Today, he has clearly done that.

On September 19, 2014, Alibaba – the Chinese Internet and Media giant went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Their stock was valued at over $200 Billion dollars. It was the most valuable IPO EVER.

And the man that got the call from Alibaba to make it happen – SCOTT CUTLER.

It was not that long ago that the call to take a tech company public on the NYSE would have never happened. It the 80’s and 90’s and into the early part of the 21st Century, the De Facto Stock Exchange for hot tech companies was NASDAQ. Scott Cutler helped change all of that for the New York Stock Exchange. And to be honest, I am not surprised.

Scott exemplifies all of the Six UP Principles that I espouse in my book –  “Up Your Game, 6 Timeless Principles for Networking your Way to the Top.” However, the thing that I have known Scott for best is his ability to Follow UP – principle #3 in my book.

I write there about how the ability to follow up is a lost art.  In our new world of social media, our ability to reach out and connect with thousands has improved like never before, but only a few FOLLOW UP. This new age of digital information increases our ability to make an initial connection, but it is the art of following up on that introduction which so many people fail to do.

Follow Up and Up Your Game

As I have watched Scott’s career blossom to become Executive Vice President and Head of Listings at the NYSE, I believe it is Scott’s ability to “Follow Up” that has been essential to his success. I cannot think of a time over the years of our interactions when it took more than a day to hear back from Scott on any issue. This is true despite the fact that Scott has a large family, is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Vice-Chairman of the Board of the NYC Mental Health Association, Board member of the Council of the Americas and the British American Business Council, and holds important roles in his church.

Scott is a great example of the adage: “When you want something done ask a busy person.” From golf outings to political fundraisers to events on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Scott is always there and always following up. So when Fusion-io was thinking about going public, we thought of Scott and could not envision going with any of the other exchanges. Scott made our experience of going public truly one of the most memorable days of my life by ensuring that ALL details were attended to. He also is careful to remember folks. In the summer of 2013, he invited me to a golf outing with Steve Stricker the day after the PGA Golf championship. It was a great day…but then Scott went the extra mile. Within several weeks of the event held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, I received an absolutely gorgeous Photo Book from Scott containing dozens of photos of the day.

So when Alibaba needed a U.S. Stock exchange to make their shares available to members of the general public, they called Scott. And not surprisingly, he Followed UP, got the listing secure for the NYSE which led to this signature explosion of value. Here is a link to Scott Cutler talking about the seamless launch of Alibaba on the NYSE. 

Lesson: If you want to succeed in your career, be part of the select group of maybe 5% of the populace that follows up.  Further, make your follow up meaningful, memorable, and personal. And do it within 24 hours. Rediscover the art of the Follow Up and you can win in business.


Posted in Posted in How to Build A Network, Lessons Learned, Networking, Up Principles, What I Learned From  |  3 Comments

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