Facilitating Successful Failures; Approximately 80,000 businesses fail each year in the United States

Facilitating Successful Failures

Michelle M. Harner University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Jamie Marincic Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

2013
Florida Law Review, Vol. 65, 2013
U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-14 

Abstract: 
Approximately 80,000 businesses fail each year in the United States. This article presents an original empirical study of over 400 business restructuring professionals focused on a critical, arguably contributing factor to these failures – the conduct of boards of directors and management. Anecdotal evidence suggests that management of distressed companies often bury their heads in the sand until it is too late to remedy the companies’ problems, a phenomenon commonly called “ostrich syndrome.” The data confirm this behavior, show a prevalent use of loss framing, and suggest trends consistent with prospect theory. The article draws on these data and behavioral economics to examine the genesis and contours of this problem. It then discusses potential changes to applicable law and introduces a new “meet and confer” process for encouraging timely restructuring negotiations. The meet and confer process is designed to promote meaningful changes in management conduct and to facilitate more “successful failures.” Policymakers should adopt regulations fostering that mentality, rather than rewarding fear or ignorance in the face of failure.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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