We talked to Andrew Corn of E5A about the systematic data-driven investor and customer acquisition
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Andrew Corn: We are fortunate to have homes in the city and country. We try to remain in the city as much as we can but sometimes feel overwhelmed by people not distancing and wearing masks and retreat to the country.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded E5A.
Andrew Corn: E5A is a systematic, data-driven investor acquisition firm. We focus on supporting issuers in raising capital using Reg CF and Reg A+. I am formally a multifactor model chief investment officer running multiple strategies of public equities. My team also designed several indices tracked by ETFs and ran a hedge fund. I got my start in marketing, developing IPO roadshows for major investment banks, and built a large team to work on lots of issues at once all around the world.
How does E5A innovate?
Andrew Corn: We were decentralized before the pandemic, so we didn’t require new processes when it hit. Our use of data science, being 100% transparent on media costs, and our multipronged optimization are evolving, are unique, and we regularly reinvent facets of them.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Andrew Corn: t has brought us additional work. We are actively recruiting for specialized positions. Onboarding a new team member remotely can be challenging with the precision and processes we have in place, which are unique.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Andrew Corn: We have said no to prospects, and I wish we had said no more frequently. Some projects and clients don’t really fit our model, but it is hard to say no during a pandemic.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and E5A in the future?
Andrew Corn: Personally, I deal with stress and anxiety through outdoor sports and other nonwork team activities. Inside the firm, we have gone from ad hoc to daily meetings where no topic is off-limits. I think that you will stay with us long after the pandemic.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Andrew Corn: We are in a new industry and are leaders. We are not worried about what they are doing and know they are watching us closely. As we optimize our strategies, the best they can hope for is to imitate what we were doing 3-6 months ago. We respect other firms but do not concern ourselves with being beaten at work. They may be better than us at pitching, but the professional ecosystem is aware of our success rate and discipline.
Your final thoughts?
Andrew Corn: Strangely, I have trained for this job my entire career. The team hand-selected each has their own tasks and are well are and integrated into one team, and we like to win for our clients.