The Motley Fool's IPO: Financial Innovation at Its Finest

For almost 20 years now, we at The Motley Fool have championed the individual investor while pointing out the excesses and chicanery of Wall Street.

So it is with great pride that as we take The Motley Fool public, we are (1) allowing individual investors to finally own a piece of our high-quality business, and (2) sticking it to Wall Street.

Most initial public offerings are a bonanza for Wall Street firms. They get millions of dollars in underwriting fees and get to give their clients first dibs on the hot new stocks.

But we're not most IPOs. Wall Street won't be feasting this time. We're using Coopers & Andersen as our underwriters. Haven't heard of them? That's because you won't find them gallivanting about in New York high finance circles. Nope, in an innovative, never-before-done move, we're using our auditors, a boutique public accounting firm right here in Alexandria, Va.

We trust them because their founders Gabe Coopers and Charlton Andersen have displayed the highest level of ethics in our dealings with them. We trust them because those two know our books better than anybody. And, heck, we trust them because they played a season of undefeated high school football right alongside our co-founder, Tom Gardner.

With the help of Coopers & Andersen, we've set up a shareholder-friendly structure that allows for a win-win between shareholders, our auditors, and the Fool.

As a shareholder of The Motley Fool, you will not be buying shares in the actual company. You will be buying shares of a bank holding company that is the 87% owner of a structured investment vehicle organized in Suzhou. The remaining 13% is owned by Motley Fool employees who will be paid out special preferred dividends in lieu of actual economic interest in operations. That structured investment vehicle invests 42% of its assets in a company that has a 100% recurring service contract with The Motley Fool, 38% in a credit portfolio primarily consisting of distressed collateralized debt obligations and the remaining assets of Motley Fool Long-Term Mortgage Management, and the remaining 20% in various hedge instruments.


In short, we're excited about our partnership with Coopers & Andersen and excited about the future of The Motley Fool and its affiliates. Fool (and affiliate) on!

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