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Keith Anderson P’27 Speaks at Finance Academy Meeting

Keith Anderson P’27 Speaks at Finance Academy Meeting

By Danny Gillis ‘24

A two-part discussion, on February 14th and 21st, Keith Anderson spoke with our Finance Academy on careers in finance, his experience as a Wall Street investment banker, and finally a case study on the Amwell IPO where he was most recently CFO and Head of M&A.  An undergraduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Anderson discussed his non-standard path into finance starting first as a public accountant at Ernst & Young and then following an MBA, a long career in investment banking.  He explained that both of these careers were important as he led the IPO of Amwell, a telemedicine company, in the middle of the COVID pandemic. 

While the main topic of the evening was a case study of Amwell’s initial public offering (IPO), Mr. Anderson began the discussion by explaining the various ways companies finance their beginnings with funding from friends and families in what they call “boot-strapping”.  He then went on to explain the subsequent rounds of funding including the seed round by “angel investors”, the Series A and B rounds by venture capitalists, the cross-over round and finally the IPO when a company first lists its shares on a public exchange.  He explained the role of the NYSE and NASDAQ and what it means, both good and bad, to be a public company. 

Mr. Anderson then discussed with the Finance Academy all the steps involved in an IPO,  the various parts of the S-1 document and how the S-1 is used by potential investors to learn more about the company.  He went through the process of “pricing an IPO” and what the “share price” really means and the math formula to compute the “value of a company”.  Finally, he explained the roles of some of the participants in his IPO: the lawyers (Davis Polk), accountants (PWC), and the various investment banks and their research analysts (Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs).  It even turns out that a sister of one of our Finance Club members worked on Mr. Anderson’s IPO at Goldman Sachs. 

Mr. Anderson ended the discussion by previewing the topic for our discussion the following week: how to get a job in the finance industry after college. 

The St. Sebastian’s Finance Academy thanks Mr. Anderson for discussing how companies raise money to fund their operations and sharing his experience taking a company public.