James A. Runde- Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley

Published on May 2, 2000

Did you know that the biggest IPO (Initial Public Offering) in history started with a cold call? That’s right! A few years ago James A. Runde, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley, picked up the phone and called UPS CFO Robert J. Clanin regarding an IPO. Mr. Runde thought UPS was ripe for a solid market entry. Mr. Clanin made one stipulation in granting the appointment and that was not to talk about an IPO. Now you may be wondering what this was all about.

If you asked anyone why companies go public, the most logical answer is to raise money. Titans know better than to operate under logical answers. What’s logical to one may be way off base to another. According to the Wall Street Journal, UPS didn’t go public for the money. They had all the money they needed. What was missing was a key component hindering their strategic plan. UPS’s growth included a model for acquiring other companies. In today’s merger world, companies are looking to merge in some cases by swapping shares of stock. UPS couldn’t offer that.

Mr. Runde understood that and developed his value around helping UPS achieve its strategic plan with the help of an IPO. RESULT: Three years later, in the fall of 1999, the largest IPO in history occurred valued at over $6 Billion.

Congratulations to Mr. Runde, our Titan Profile of the Month. Cold calls still work and the mega deals go to the people who give their customers what they need the way they want it!

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