Class V Group stands apart. We use our unmatched frontline experience across the spectrum of IPO disciplines to ensure founders and management teams achieve their fundraising goals, their way. Ours is an intentionally limited, not volume-driven, advisory service enabling us to provide senior partner attention to every client throughout the transaction, from early IPO prep through an optimized entree into the public markets and beyond. Our clients have ranged from those that chose to sell only secondary shares, adding no new capital to the balance sheet, to those raising tens of millions straight up through those successfully executing dramatically oversubscribed multiple-billion dollar offerings.
Why did we name the business Class V? Whitewater rapids are ranked from Class l to V and like river-riders, IPO teams can encounter unexpected turbulence and unforeseen twists requiring quick assessment and adjustment. Those in the know strongly advise travelers through Class V rapids to take an experienced guide with them. We see tremendous parallels with the IPO process. We are here to be your trusted guides/assistants throughout the preparation and transaction, adding extra power during the smooth water and steadying the craft should any unexpected curves arise on the course.
We compete with the fancy pitch-deck, blue-blazered crowd, but that’s not our M.O. We win because our clients know they will receive consistent senior attention from early days through public reporting. That is why our past clients are 100% referenceable. Regardless of the size of the transaction, once we accept an engagement, we work at the strategic level with the management team and the board. Concurrently and consistently, we also dig deep into the trenches, every step of the way, with the execution teams from each involved department. What you see at the pitch is what you get: unmatched senior experience from start to finish and deep knowledge of the nuances. That is the invaluable Class V difference. Just ask for references.
MEET THE TEAM
Prior to joining Class V Group in 2013, Leslie spent 17 years building relationships with top institutional investors and leading the sales team for hundreds of technology IPOs. Leslie’s Technology sales team was the #1 Technology sales team in the II All-American poll. As a member of the Equity Commitment Committees at both Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, she was repeatedly lauded for her insight into investor sentiment and decision processes for institutions of all sizes.
In addition to selling IPOs and follow-on offerings, Leslie was responsible for the aftermarket sales and trading support of technology companies, repeatedly demonstrating her effectiveness in repositioning public companies, strategically expanding their institutional shareholder base, and implementing action plans to expand research coverage, in an effort to increase liquidity and improve valuation.
Prior to leading sales teams placing technology stocks and IPOs, Leslie was an investment banker and a securities attorney where she worked on Leveraged Buyouts, M&A, spinouts, restructurings, and financings across the capital structure. Prior to Wall Street, Leslie worked as a certified public accountant conducting audits for E & Y.
Leslie brings her unbiased market perspective, deep institutional relationships as well as an insider’s knowledge of the underwriting syndicate process to the companies Class V Group advises. Leslie's combination of public market and capital markets expertise, investment banking, securities law, and accounting experience is unique and enables her to provide value to management teams across multiple disciplines. Leslie holds an M.B.A. & J.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Georgia Bar Association, the AICPA, and the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy.
Photograph by Michael Faas/Fortune
Recognizing that management teams often have no completely unconflicted, deeply experienced assistance throughout the IPO process, Lise Buyer founded the Class V Group to provide just that, leveraging her previous experience from all sides of the IPO table. Specifically, she was one of the chief architects of Google’s innovative IPO and as a result, a recipient of a Google Founders’ Award, the highest employee accolade, given to those who have made extraordinary entrepreneurial contributions to the company. She came to Google following a successful career in the investment industry, including as a buy-side investor, sell-side analyst, and as a venture capitalist.
Ms. Buyer garnered a deep understanding of emerging business models, forecasting, and effective message delivery when she ran the Internet/New Media research practice for Credit Suisse First Boston. During that time, the quality of her research was ranked #1 in the prestigious Greenwich Associates poll. She combined the lessons learned as a sell-side analyst with the first-hand experience and perspective of IPO buyers, having decided on hundreds of investment opportunities when she was an institutional investor for T. Rowe Price Associates. Ms. Buyer was a technology analyst for the fund complex and a member of the investment committee for the firm's Science and Technology Fund, consistently one of the top-performing technology mutual funds at that time.
Empowered by first-hand experience from all sides of the IPO process, Ms. Buyer has been a leader in the crusade to improve the offering process by taking management teams on a deep dive into the nuances of each stage of the IPO, thereby giving them a greater understanding and control of the transaction’s outcome. In recognition of the advances she pioneered, Ms. Buyer is featured in the 2022 release: Going Public: How Silicon Valley Rebels Loosened Wall Street’s Grip on the IPO and Sparked a Revolution.
Aside from Class V Group, Ms. Buyer is the Lead Independent Director, Nom/Gov Chair, and Audit Committee member for The TradeDesk (NASDAQ: TTD) and has attained the NACD Directorship Certification. She is a past Trustee of the Nichols School, a Fellow of the Davos World Economic Forum, and a recipient of a Silicon Valley Women of Influence award. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA from Vanderbilt University's Owen School of Management. She was honored to be named to Forbes' 50 (gulp) Over 50 list in 2023.