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David Garrity: Laidlaw in the News – Tech Sector 4Q19 Results

1) Tech – AAPL Results Show Return To iPhone Growth With iPhone11, Coming 5G Model Bolsters Outlook: Out after last night’s close were solid results from AAPL where the 3Q19 introduction of the iPhone11 set up a solid year-end holiday gift-giving season performance. This growth was encouraging given that global smartphone sales in 2019 were down for the first time ever, a clear another indication of a mature product market. AAPL also showed improved performance in the China market where price repositioning on older products served to help gain market share. Surprisingly, AAPL Services revenues, while up over +10% year/year, were short of analyst expectations. AAPL ended 2019 with 480mm services customers, up +33% year/year, and looks to gain a further +25% to 600mm in 2020, a development that should serve to drive steady improvement in Services revenue for the year ahead.

The major positive driver for AAPL in 2020  and beyond will be the coming introduction of a 5G-capable smartphone. The roll-out of 5G wireless communications networks is expected to enable a step function increase in societal productivity. 5G connects everything from autonomous vehicles to industrial systems and medical devices at speeds sufficient to allow computing to happen in the cloud rather than on a device. Since population growth is slowing in the US/China and negative in Japan/parts of Europe, productivity growth will increasingly bear the burden of creating global economic growth in the coming years. That will come from fresh innovations enabled by 5G cellular systems.

Meanwhile, the spreading Wuhan coronavirus (Wuhan SARS) is expected to limit economic growth during 1H20 as travel restrictions limit both consumer and industrial activity. For AAPL, one can expect that 1Q20 results for China will be weak as product sales around the Lunar New Year holiday are dampened. In terms of product sourcing, AAPL has to some extent shifted its supply chain away from China as a result of the Trump Trade War, but not to the full extent where there may be product shortages globally over the course of 2020.

2) Tech – Coming Results Unlikely To Be Clouded By Wuhan SARS China Weakness: While it is early in the 4Q19 tech sector results reporting season, one thing investors should appreciate is that the drive by China to develop domestic tech sector champions through its China 2025 program and other measure restrictive to non-Chinese companies means that the impact of Wuhan SARS will likely be muted with regard to 2020 results. Social media companies FB (results out tonight) and TWTR along with GOOGL have at best a minimal presence in China. AMZN has exposure to China only to the extent that products sold through its e-commerce platform by either itself or third-party vendors are sourced from China. There may be possible stock-outs and/or price increases, but most likely alternate sources or substitute products will be found to meet customer requirements. To this end, these companies’ results are driven by the global economy ex-China.

The economic contagion from Wuhan SARS is for now limited. What investors do need to watch is the extent to which Wuhan SARS spreads to other countries. Here, the indications are concerning as there are now cases of Wuhan SARS in Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Germany involving patients who had not traveled to China, indicating that person-to-person transmission of Wuhan SARS has taken root outside of China. Note that major international air carrier British Airways has now suspended all flights into and out of China. We expect other carriers may soon adopt similar measures.

David Garrity: Laidlaw in the News – Tech Sector 4Q19 Results2020-02-03T16:23:46+00:00

The Laidlaw Five. Behind the Numbers.

Podcast Episode #1: “The Laidlaw Five”

Welcome to “A Brighter Future”, our new Podcast Series. In this, our very first podcast, you’ll hear Richard Calhoun and David Garitty discuss the reasoning behind David’s recent “Laidlaw Five” forecast for 2020 and the major trends to consider in the year ahead. A must listen for every investor.


The Laidlaw Five. Behind the Numbers.2020-01-22T02:41:58+00:00

Wealth management’s newest competitor is 177 years old

Wealth management’s newest competitor is 177 years old

Read the article below or see the original published article from OnWallStreet here

An almost 177-year-old investment bank aims to be the newest player in wealth management, courting talent from both RIAs and wirehouses. Is there room for another entrant in the lucrative, but competitive wealth management marketplace?

New York-based Laidlaw intends to find out.

The firm has tapped a former wirehouse and IBD executive, Richard Calhoun, to oversee its expansion into wealth management. It’s already recruited several advisors and plans to ramp up hiring efforts in 2020.

“I see myself as the general manager and I’m trying to find the right talent for this team and just let them run with it,” CEO Matt Eitner says.

Laidlaw intends to entice advisors with a recruiting deal, an offer of equity in the company and the ability to tap into its existing investment banking operations. Advisors will be able to offer clients access to IPOs and private equity deals, executives say. Plus, there will be far less bureaucracy than exists at the wirehouses.

“We can make decisions nimbly and quickly. We don’t have to go through three different committees to get to a ‘yes,’” says Calhoun, who previously oversaw Wells Fargo’s independent broker-dealer, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network.

To be sure, other firms have trod a similar path — and stumbled. Lebenthal Wealth Advisors and Cantor Fitzgerald tried to leverage legacy names to gain a foothold in wealth management. Both firms failed to gain traction.

In Lebenthal’s case, the firm had some early notable successes, recruiting a few top wirehouse advisors and filling management posts with former Smith Barney executives. But the firm struggled in a fierce recruiting environment, and shuttered its wealth management business in 2016.

“We probably were just not competitive enough in terms of what we could offer,” Alexandra Lebenthal, CEO of Lebenthal Holdings, told Financial Planningfollowing the firm’s denouement.

But even as some firms have bid adieu to wealth management, new players continue to throw their hat in the ring and some have shown sticking power in recent years. Among them: Steward Partners, Snowden Lane, HighTower and Focus Financial.

“If the niche is well defined enough, then I’d argue there is [room for a new wealth management firm],” says recruiter Danny Sarch.
But to recruiter Frank LaRosa’s mind, it’s less a matter of finding a niche than execution.

“All these different firms have the same solutions, they’re using the same technology. It’s about how they present it, how they support their advisors and what’s the culture they will supply,” LaRosa says.

Adding Calhoun was a smart move, he adds. “I know Rick from when we were at Smith Barney together. He’s a good recruiter. He can resonate with wirehouse advisors because he’s lived that.”

To replicate the success of some independent firms, Laidlaw has tapped two consultants with past experience at Steward Partners: Scott Abry and Michael Maurer.

Steward Partners was founded by former wirehouse executives in 2013 and grown to more than 100 advisors operating from more than 20 offices.

Of course, wealth management’s appeal as a business is obvious; there’s recurring fee revenue to be had, widespread need for financial advice among aging baby boomers and a number of dissatisfied advisors ready to decamp to greener pastures. It’s why firms like Steward Partners, Lebenthal and others keep making a go of it.

“Seeing what other independent firms had done over the past 10 years, plus the exodus from the wirehouses … that to me looked like the perfect opportunity” Eitner says.

Cerulli Associates estimates average AUM for advisors across the industry was $65.5 million in 2018, up from $55.1 million four years prior. Wirehouse brokers remain the industry’s most productive, overseeing on average $147 million in 2018, according to the research firm. That’s up from $132 million for 2014. It makes them a prime target for firms looking to grow via recruiting, particularly from national and regional BDs, according to Cerulli.

“Although much of the industry buzz has been around advisor migration to the independent channels, for wirehouse advisors interested in a change due to dissatisfaction with their current firm’s culture, or senior management, migration to the national and regional BD channel can be the most natural fit,” the research firm says in a recent report.

Top reasons for moving include dissatisfaction with senior management, desire for greater independence and the ability to build financial value in independent business, according to Cerulli.

“We’re trying to attract advisors who are running to something rather than away from something,” Calhoun says of Laidlaw’s efforts.

In offering new hires equity in the company as an enticement to move, Laidlaw is mimicking what some other independent firms founded in recent years have done. And, like other aggressive recruiters who tout amenable corporate environments, Laidlaw is banking it can foster an attractive culture for disaffected brokers.

Mel Lewis, who left Morgan Stanley to join Laidlaw’s New York office, pointed to his start at E.F Hutton in 1983 as a reason to switch. “I wanted to get back to a firm with a similar culture and commitment to my clients and me that I felt at E.F. Hutton,” Lewis said in a statement.

Culture is also a reason Laidlaw has eschewed the IBD model. The firm’s leadership does not believe they could cultivate the culture they want via a 1099 model, which would result in a more fragmented advisor force.

“That’s our secret sauce,” Eitner says of the firm’s culture. “It’s something that you need to come sit with us to really understand.”

Wealth management’s newest competitor is 177 years old2020-01-13T15:13:09+00:00

Laidlaw Helps Amesite Inc. Raise $5.5 Million in Oversubscribed Financing Round

Click here to see Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, chief executive officer, Amesite Inc, explain here disruptive online learning AI technology

Also, see article below or read original from Yahoo Finance here

Amesite Inc. Raises $5.5 Million in Oversubscribed Financing Round

Company Provides Customized Learning Paths Developed by AI-Powered Online Platform for Enterprises, Colleges and Universities

ANN ARBOR, MI / ACCESSWIRE / January 6, 2020 / Amesite Inc., (the “Company”) an artificial intelligence software company providing fully-managed, customized, online learning ecosystems for the enterprise and higher education markets, today announced that it has closed an oversubscribed $5.5 million financing round to certain accredited investors. The Company has raised a total of $11 million in funding from private financings since its founding in 2017.

As the Company continues to grow its portfolio of artificial intelligence software products designed to improve learning, the net proceeds from the financing will be used to support sales and marketing efforts across its growing customer base and support company operations.

“To ensure employees have the in-demand skills they need to succeed in the future of work, and students and teachers have access to up-to-the minute learning materials, we are committed to investing in our machine learning and artificial intelligence-powered platform,” said Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, chief executive officer, Amesite Inc. “Our most recent financing will be instrumental in helping us support our growing customer base of enterprises and higher education institutions, while bolstering our continued software innovation efforts and growth into new markets.”

Laidlaw & Company (U.K.) Ltd. acted as the exclusive placement agent for the offering. Laidlaw’s Head of Capital Markets, Jim Ahern, commented, “Laidlaw is excited to be partnering with Amesite, who bring world class innovation and expertise that is needed to unlock the tremendous value of applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to learning environments. We look forward to our journey ahead with them.”

Amesite’s online learning solutions for enterprises, colleges, universities, faculty and students utilize artificial intelligence technologies, including machine learning and natural language processing, to deliver cost effective, cloud-based digital versions of courses that greatly enhance and improve the learning experience of students. Amesite’s online platform includes customized user messaging and tracking as well as seamless integration of updated topics and materials into traditional course curriculum, creating a more meaningful experience for both students and instructors alike.

The securities sold in Amesite’s private financing have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or an applicable exemption from registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

About Amesite Inc.

Amesite is a high-tech artificial intelligence software company offering a cloud-based platform for learning products to be cost-effectively and conveniently delivered to learners online, in business, higher education and K12. Amesite uses artificial intelligence technologies to provide customized environments for learners, and easier-to-manage interfaces for instructors. For more information, visit https://amesite.com/.

Forward Looking Statements

This communication contains forward-looking statements concerning the Company, the Company’s planned online machine learning platform, the Company’s business plans, any future commercialization of the Company’s online learning solutions, potential customers, business objectives and other matters. Forward-looking statements generally include statements that are predictive in nature and depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, and include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “believe,” “intend,” “look forward,” and other similar expressions among others. Statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Risks facing the Company and its planned platform are set forth in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement, or to make any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media Contact:

Matthew Pennacchio
(212) 691-2800

SOURCE: Amesite, Inc.

View source version on accesswire.com:

Laidlaw Helps Amesite Inc. Raise $5.5 Million in Oversubscribed Financing Round2020-01-15T02:35:32+00:00

The “Laidlaw Five” 2020 Forecasts

2020 Outlook – Five Forecasts

With 2019 drawing to a close, the Laidlaw Investment Policy Committee is inaugurating the “Laidlaw Five” 2020 forecasts which offer investors thoughts on five particular areas to take into account when considering how best to navigate the capital markets in the year ahead and which will be periodically revised as the year unfolds and significant events necessitate.
See links or read and watch videos below:
Politics: Elections Prompt Markets To Pause
With 2020 being a year of elections across the world culminating in the November 2020 U.S. general election, investors should consider that investment returns are likely to be muted until the electoral tea leaves are read. That said, Laidlaw expects positive investment returns will most likely be realized as a “relief rally” in the back half of 2020. Relative to the U.S. Presidential contest, while the expected candidates in the general election are Donald Trump (GOP) facing Michael Bloomberg (Democratic), it is important to note that there is high level of uncertainty as there are thoughts the Democratic Party at its July 2020 convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin might have its first “brokered” convention in years. Meanwhile, impeachment, trade policy, technology sector regulation, health care reform, and Supreme Court vacancies are expected to result in a contentious campaign culminating in an election with high levels of voter turn-out. Interesting to note, 2020 will be the first U.S. election in which the “Baby Boomer” generation is no longer the majority of the electorate as “Millenials” move to the fore.
Macro-economy: Tariff Wars, “Brexit”, & Iran Are Wild Cards
The global macro-economy is likely subdued as major events such as the U.S.-China trade tariff confrontation and the distinct possibility of a hard “Brexit” by the U.K. from the E.U. remain unresolved. Note that the inclination of the current U.S. Administration to withdraw from long-standing multilateral agreements in favor of more inefficient bilateral trade arrangements is likely to leave open the possibility of increased trade tensions with the E.U., something that may result in ECB monetary policy moving away from continued experimentation with negative interest rates. In terms of exogenous shock, Laidlaw believes an increase in oil prices to the $75/barrel level is possible depending on OPEC production cut-backs and the possibility of conflict with Iran limiting Persian Gulf shipments through the Strait of Hormuz. With this as back-drop, GDP growth is expected as follows: U.S. +1.5%, E.U. +1.0%, and World +2.5%.
Markets: Equities +7% Due To Buybacks & “TINA”, Interest Rates Edge Lower 
The fixed income markets in 2019 called the tune as the shift in E.U. interest rates towards negative prompted the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates three times thereby supporting equities during a period when earnings contracted and capital investment spending stagnated under the uncertainty associated with the U.S.-China trade tariff confrontation. For 2020, Laidlaw has a 3,400 level target for the S&P500, a +7% total return from current levels. Equities benefit from a return to corporate earnings growth supporting stock buy-back activity coupled with low interest rates leaving investors in the position of “there is no alternative” to equities. While no further Fed interest cuts are thought to be in the offing, the estimated -0.6% impact to U.S. GDP growth from Boeing halting 737 Max production may change that view. The U.S. Treasury 10-year rate now at 1.92% is expected to contract to 1.25-1.50% over the course of 2020 as the global macro-economy slows.
Sectors: Tech Sees Regulation Risk Limit Potential, Election May Benefit Healthcare Prospects
While investors have built wealth since the 2009 Recession by taking an over-weight position in large-cap U.S. Tech, the increasing risk of greater regulation may serve to depress profit margins for names such as Alphabet and Facebook and in the process limit the sector’s appreciation potential. While the yield curve has steepened off the August 2019 lows, a development that has favored Financial sector shares, Laidlaw expects the macro-economy’s uncertainties to slow and eventually limit further curve steepening. Meanwhile, the possibility of “Amazonization” is rising in the Financial sector as Tech names are speculated to be considering potentially disruptive moves such Apple acquiring an asset manager. That said, Laidlaw views the Healthcare sector as offering an attractive combination of growth and valuation that has the potential to improve should the 2020 election better define its return potential.
The “Laidlaw Five” 2020 Forecasts2020-01-15T02:36:34+00:00

Laidlaw served as Financial Advisor on the $11.5mm Beyond Air (XAIR) Follow-On Offering

The Laidlaw Capital Markets team is pleased to announce our role as a Financial Advisor to Beyond Air Inc (XAIR) on this mornings $11,500,000 Follow-On Offering led by Suntrust Robinson. Laidlaw acted as Sole Placement Agent on a $10,000,000 PIPE in 2018 and this is the third transaction we have been involved in with the company.

See full Press Release on Beyond Air Website


Laidlaw served as Financial Advisor on the $11.5mm Beyond Air (XAIR) Follow-On Offering2020-01-14T23:05:11+00:00

Laidlaw served as Financial Advisor on the $50mm Molecular Templates (MTEM) Follow-On Offering

Laidlaw Capital Markets is pleased to serve as Financial Advisor to Molecular Templates (MTEM) on the pricing of its $50,000,000 Follow-On Offering. This is Laidlaw’s second transaction in the syndicate, helping raise more than $100,000,000 in capital for the company in the last 15 months.

See full Press Release on Molecular Templates Website
Laidlaw served as Financial Advisor on the $50mm Molecular Templates (MTEM) Follow-On Offering2020-01-14T23:04:38+00:00