Compliance Lessons from Facebook’s IPO Debacle

Published by Reuters Complinet

June 2012

It is too early to know whether there was any wrongdoing during preparations for the much-hyped Facebook IPO in May, despite the public outcry. It will be months, and more likely years, before the investigations are over, the lawsuits resolved, and investor angst over whether to still “like” Facebook as an investment are settled. Even so, there is valuable guidance for compliance officers in the events that have taken place so far.

“What is clear is that the Facebook IPO was a complete debacle, with fingers being pointed at the underwriters, NASDAQ and the company itself,” Donna Boehme, principal of Compliance Strategists, a consulting firm in New Providence, NJ, wrote in an email. “What is not yet clear is whether there were any actual violations of securities law. Until all the facts come out, we don’t know whether this is a compliance matter, or whether this is a matter of unintended consequences under existing rules, amplified by technical and PR blunders,” she said. Continue reading “Compliance Lessons from Facebook’s IPO Debacle”