Doug Valenti, CEO : QuinStreet
Tom Evans, CEO : BankRate
I enjoyed this panel of two CEOs of publicly traded companies. Tom has the outgoing personality and confidence you’d expect from a CEO. Doug seemed more of an operational CEO with focus toward ops and analytics. He was much more dry in his demeanor and approach.
Facebook & Social Media
Tom : these channels are not a great place for them to find people in market. The problem is it is all about conversions on the backend. They don’t want people converting that won’t buy the product and social lends itself to that. Tom did comment that the visibility is good, but the transactions were not. Yahoo and AOL are the only places where they can find mass consumers that will convert. For them they look at Facebook as a branded media outlet. Bankrate is not looking for millions of impressions from Facebook that aren’t going to convert.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Doug : we look for media assets primarily. Sites that align with important set of visitors and built those visitors in a sustainable way. Quinstreet acquires to accelerate penetration or growth of a vertical. Characteristics of those acquisitions are sustainability and Quinstreet can create the next building blocks. Basically they do Net Present Value of cash flow models daily on acquisition targets.
Tom : I’m a big believer in scaling quickly. M&A is a way to do that. I also believe strongly in consolidation and think that it is important that industry get organized the way businesses run. At the end Tom sums up M&A for Bankrate to scale, integration, and consolidation.
Overall I thought that Doug is probably a very good CEO, but a less than good face of the organization. Although for him he is in a analytics software company so it works for them. Tom was much more of a face to Bankrate. He was entertaining, jovial, and confident which markets well on-stage.