Joseph W. Bartlett, Special Counsel, McCarter & English LLP, Co-Founder of VCExperts

McCarter & English LLP


Of vast importance is the quality of management, the venture investor's rubric being to "bet the jockey, not the horse." In addition to describing current team members, the business plan should discuss how and when new members will be added, how the management team will be compensated, and how the team members will be motivated to perform to maximize the objectives of the business as laid out in the plan. It is not easy to recruit experienced, quality people for a new venture. Romance or no romance, school tuitions are a source of concern. If the management team is skeletal, investors may be cynical, recalling the old saw that recruitment takes one month for each $10,000 in salary; that is, it takes nine months to recruit a $90,000-a-year marketing manager.

Parenthetically, Dodd Frank now requires that the management fill out a "bad actor" questionnaire, affirming no brushes with state or federal law in the preceding ten years. This is in order for the placement to be exempt under Rule 506 of Regulation D. The checks, or many of them, need to be made anyway. We can all recall reviewing resumes of great looking and sounding candidates; when in fact they turn out (after a brief internet search) have been barred from the securities industry for life.


Introduction to Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance