Flemish investment club shindig

4 10 2008

All eyes were set on Filip Dierckx, Fortis’ newest CEO, at the annual Flemish investment club conference in Antwerp today. Alas, Fortis cancelled at the last minute, sending apocalypse rumors and cholesterol levels flying.

This was an eye-opening day among corporate high rollers, financial analysts and frustrated investors. As I mingled with attendees and exhibitors during coffee breaks, I was casually told that it used to be fairly easy to make your first million on the stock market – yes, I kept the Lil’ Wayne jokes to myself – and that, as an entrepreneur, cornering a niche market is key. Just ask Omega Pharma.

(research mode: on) The CEO and CFO presentations provided rich arenas for displaying competence and illustrated, at least to this investment novice, how crucial the interpretive work of the audience (nodding, taking notes, asking questions, chatting) is in acknowledging and enacting the speaker’s expertise. These performances are research grants waiting to be written (research mode: off).

Lessons learned: Zetes is, IMHO, a company with killer technology and a sound business plan. KBC is sitting pretty for now. The art of public speaking is not exactly lost on Agfa Gevaert CEO Jo Cornu. Eyes-on-stalks boring. And Fortis? They’re in rocky waters. Expect more drama soon. In the meantime, roll with the punches. And please don’t make a run on it.



One response

16 10 2008
Not so Fortis: share price falls to €1.2 « Tom Van Hout

[…] on Tuesday, sparking a massacre: Fortis Euronext shares fell a whopping 77% to €1.2 euro. At the investment club conference last week – after the BeNeLux nationalization but before the BNP Paribas takeover – Fortis shares […]

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