I must admit that I am truly disappointed at the response to a telephone question regarding PyroGenesis; it was a lost opportunity for Pyro to get its news out there…and the interviewee (Ryan Midesto ) to show what he is made of as an analyst, but then again, I must remind myself of the source.When I heard what he said in response to a general inquiry on PyroGenesis I thought I was caught in a time warp and listening to an analyst of 15+ years ago.Clearly the interviewee is just a kid, and seriously out of his depth. He looks like someone that has gone through all his 3 lifelines and has yet to answer the first question on “who wants to be a millionaire”.A post turtle if I ever saw one.
In his defense, I imagine it must be difficult to be current on all companies on all exchanges at all times, so he cannot be faulted for lack of knowledge…but to give advice as if one is current, when you clearly are not, is inexcusable.The value of any professional, particularly in the finance industry, is largely based on trust.A trust that you will give an accounting of the facts and not pretend to be in command of such when you are not.This youngster clearly did not live up to that minimum standard and as such broke an implied trust that is created when asked to be inteviewed on such a prestigious outlet as he was.He not only failed himself but, in so doing, put at risk the trust BNN has developed over time with its audience.He might have been well advised to have read up on Mark Twain who suggested that, at times like these, it is best not to respond and risk being thought a fool, then opening your mouth and removing all doubt.
On the brighter side of things, I felt the interviewer, Michael Hainsworth, was brilliant. Brilliant, and my hat is off to him on how well he managed the situation without embarrassing the boy.A class act in every way. I invite you to look at the interview again and just listen to Mr. Hainsworth.He knows PyroGenesis.He has had Bob McWhirter of Select Asset Management on his show(by the way I do not see eye to eye on everything with Bob, but at least Bob is a well-informed seasoned analyst and that makes all the difference, and I respect him for that), answering questions about PyroGenesis , and as such Mr. Hainsworth is familiar with the PyroGenesis name.Listen to how he tries to gently guide the youngster back on track by pointing out various tidbits about PyroGenesis.Failing that he points out that the CEO recently raised his stake in the company.When the youngster still doesn’t clue in, he chuckles and says (almost under his breath) “…well its only $1.8MM…”.I got a good laugh when I heard that because everyone in the industry knows ,including Mr. Hainsworth, that you rarely see a CEO on a TSX.V listed company invest in his company, and when you do it’s in the $10K, $20K, $50K range.$1.8MM?Unheard of. This was a last attempt to get the youngster to clue in, but it didn’t work.
If this kid can’t be honest about his ignorance and can’t clue into mega hints from a seasoned interviewer, then I leave it to the audience to decide what type of an analyst this youngster is and, by default, his research company of three that he is CEO of.
In the case that I am totally mistaken, and this is just a case of a youngster having a case of the nerves, and he is in fact a gem in the rough, then I get it.Mistakes happen.It has happened to me on many occasions….and I was taken to task…and I was thankful for it.The most memorable time was in my first year as an investment banker on Wall Street doing M&A for the fortune 500.I was taken to task, and it made me who I am today.In that vain, I invite Ryan to come to PyroGenesis for the day at his convenience and our expense.I will give him a private presentation, a tour, and answer any question he may have that we can publicly disclose.He can then go back and give his opinion on PyroGenesis no matter what that may be.I only ask that he be fully informed the next time his lips flap in the wind. Open invitation Ryan...just give me a call.
If on the other hand the youngster stands by his interview and claims he is not ignorant then I challenge him to a live debate on BNN, or failing that, any platform (maybe Agoracom?), where we can discuss his comments on PyroGenesis openly.
So…you asked: My takeaway from the interview?
BNN is a class venue and Mr. Hainsworth is brilliant.Sometimes you need an event like this interview to showcase those qualities.