Capital Instincts: Life As an Entrepreneur, Financier, and Athlete

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9780471214175: Capital Instincts: Life As an Entrepreneur, Financier, and Athlete
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An insider's view of the investment banking world from someonewho is actually shaping it

Powerful, controversial and determined, Thomas Weisel is knownfor his unwavering focus on winning the race, whether he iscompeting in a national cycling championship, sponsoring Tour deFrance winner Lance Armstrong or negotiating with businesscompetitors. For twenty-seven years he ran one of the majorinvestment banks on the West Coast, bringing public companies suchas Applied Materials, Siebel Systems and Yahoo! and wasinstrumental in establishing San Francisco as an alternativefinancial center to Wall Street. In 1997 he sold his company toNationsBank, which later merged with Bank of America. Unhappy withhis treatment after the merger, Weisel trumped Bank of America bynegotiating a separation package that included $500 million instock options and the ability to hire away crucial Bank of Americamanagement. Within two years, the investment bank he started,Thomas Weisel Partners, reached half a billion dollars in revenuesand negotiated high-profile deals such as Yahoo!'s merger withGeocities. Power Investor weaves Weisel's approach to success, hiscompetitive nature and love of cycling into a fascinating insideaccount of the cutthroat world of investment banking.

Thomas Weisel (San Francisco, CA) is the founder, CEO andChairman of the Executive Committee of Thomas Weisel Partners, aresearch-driven merchant bank exclusively focused on the growthsectors of the U.S. economy. He is founder and president ofTailwind Sports, which manages the U.S. Postal Service cyclingteam, and was an Olympic-class speed skater and the former chairmanof the U.S. Ski Foundation.
Richard Brandt (San Francisco, CA) has twenty years'experience as a leading business journalist. He was a seniorreporter for BusinessWeek for fourteen years and editor in chief ofthe technology business magazine Upside for four years.

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From the Inside Flap:

For over three decades, Thomas W. Weisel has been one of theleading figures of the financial scene that blossomed along withSilicon Valley, becoming an integral part of its phenomenalsuccess. Many pioneers have contributed to the changing nature ofU.S. business, but only a few have emerged as real leaders inAmerican entrepreneurialism. Thom Weisel is one of thoseleaders.

His passions extend beyond business. Deeply competitive, heremained a top athlete well into his fifties, helped revive U.S.Olympic skiing and U.S. cycling, and created the world-classcycling team (led by his good friend Lance Armstrong) that has wonthe famed Tour de France four times in a row-and counting. He'salso a renowned art collector and has contributed significantly tothe world of politics, not just with money but with his classicblend of personal involvement and energy.

In Capital Instincts: Life As an Entrepreneur, Financier, andAthlete, you'll follow Thom Weisel from his youth as anextraordinarily talented athlete from Milwaukee, to his presentposition as one of the most influential investment bankers of ourtime. He rejected the New York financial scene in 1969 to join theentrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, taking public such companies asAmgen, Micron Technology, Siebel Systems, and Yahoo! He may be oneof the last of a generation of influential financial entrepreneursin a world now dominated by giant conglomerates.

A controversial figure, Weisel took over control of MontgomerySecurities in a power struggle that solidified his reputation as ano-holds-barred businessman decades ago. Through accounts fromcolleagues, competitors, and Weisel himself, you'll learn how hebuilt Montgomery to a position of prominence, selling the firm toNationsBank in 1998 for $1.3 billion-probably the biggest mistakeof his career.

In 1998, Weisel walked out of NationsBank-now called Bank ofAmerica after its acquisition of the San Francisco bank-after adispute over control. He took key partners and hundreds of millionsof dollars with him to start over again at the age of 58. His newcompany, Thomas Weisel Partners, reached nearly half a billiondollars in revenues in two years, one of the fastest growingcompanies in history. The firm was then battered by recession, thedeath of the dot-com industry, and an industry wracked by scandal.But Weisel's rapid restructuring of his firm, told even as ithappens, is a powerful lesson in business crisis management.

A mix of intellectual might, passion, and powerful egos, CapitalInstincts distills Thomas Weisel's approach to success throughouthis life. Weisel himself adds commentaries on the U.S. economy, thefuture of the stock market, and the current crisis in the industry.Capital Instincts is an extraordinary tale of life, business, andsports from one of the most impressive leaders of our age.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for CAPITAL INSTINCTS

"Thom Weisel's career has been remarkable. In sequence he has builttwo successful investment banking and research firms. That would beenough, but he has also revitalized the U.S. Ski Team, backed andinspired the winning Tour de France cycling team, encouraged LanceArmstrong to become a world-class competitor again after his battlewith cancer, financially and spiritually empowered the EmpowerAmerica think tank, and assembled a world-class contemporary artcollection. You cannot do all this without having exceptionalenergy, uncanny vision, outstanding leadership qualities andextraordinary intuition. This book tells Thom's story and includessome of his own insightful thought pieces. In Capital Instincts,you will learn a lot about management, motivation, leadership andthe special qualities of humanity that are the substance ofgreatness."
-Byron R. Wien
Managing Director
Morgan Stanley

"Serial successes are rare. Those that span Silicon Valley and WallStreet, modern art, Olympic ski racing, and the Tour de France,rarer still. No, Capital Instincts: Life as an Entrepreneur,Financier, and Athlete isn't a novel. But it is a thriller. RichardBrandt isn't Robert Ludlum, but he'll have you enjoying turningpages just as much. And Thom Weisel isn't Jason Bourne, but hemoves about as fast and covers more territory. A fascinating force,a remarkable blend of energy and focus, of talent and instinct formarkets and people, of guts and drive, he has lit up the worlds offinance, art and sports for decades. Part biography, part businesshistory, part Weisel's own views on subjects from management,investment banking and entrepreneurship to the Internet bubble/bustand financial future, Capital Instincts is simply riveting. Morethan a must read-a delightful read as well. And with Weisel goingstrong, I can hardly wait for the sequel."
-Michael J. Boskin
T.M. Friedman Professor of Economics and Hoover Institution SeniorFellow
Stanford University

"Thom Weisel and Richard Brandt have produced an easy readinghistory that should be included in every business study program.Leadership lessons in sports and finance laced with real-lifeexperiences. I found myself remembering recent headlines as Thomtells the inside story."
-Harvey W. Schiller
President & CEO US Operations
Assante Corp

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