BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 ISSUE
COVER STORY -- E.BIZ -- THE E.BIZ 25

Lawton W. Fitt


LAWTON W. FITT

GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.

Position: Managing director

Contribution: Has quarterbacked dozens of Internet IPOs, including those of Yahoo! and eBay.

Ambition:To find the magic price point that satisfies ipo stock issuers and investors equally.

Chief executives tend to get the credit when startups go public and the stock blasts through the ozone layer. But they owe a huge debt to those who work behind the scenes on Wall Street. Nobody deserves more accolades than Lawton W. Fitt, managing director of Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GS), who quarterbacks more tech IPOs than anybody else. This year alone, she has greased the skids for more than 22 tech IPOs, including E-Toys (ETYS) and Juniper Networks (JNPR), raising more than $2.7 billion. That made Goldman the tech-IPO champ.

Silicon Valley execs say Fitt keeps a lid on IPO prices, and Fitt, 46, agrees that pricing is her most difficult task. ''My job is to find the point of balance between the issuers and investors where everybody feels the price is fair,'' Fitt says. ''I want them to be equally happy or equally unhappy.'' Right now, in spite of a high-tech IPO slowdown, there are a lot of happy capitalists and not many complaints. Fitt expects the action to pick up again soon--though not with the speculative fury of early this year. ''This is not a bubble,'' she says. ''Five years from now, there won't be Internet companies because everybody will be doing business over the Internet.'' So much the better for Goldman Sachs.

By Steve Hamm

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

BACK TO TOP
RELATED ITEMS
The e.biz 25: Masters of the Web Universe

COVER IMAGE: The e.biz 25

Commentary: The Great Equalizer? Not by a Long Shot

TABLE: Who's Lagging in the Net Age


[empire builders]
Jeffrey P. Bezos
AMAZON.COM INC.

Stephen M. Case
AMERICA ONLINE INC.

Timothy A. Koogle
YAHOO! INC.

[the innovators]
Louis H. Borders
WEBVAN GROUP INC.

Jay S. Walker
PRICELINE.COM

Margaret C. Whitman
EBAY INC.

Glen Meakem
FREE MARKETS ONLINE INC.

James H. Clark
MYCFO INC.

Christos M. Cotsakos
E*TRADE GROUP INC.

[bankrollers]
Masayoshi Son
SOFTBANK CORP., JAPAN

Robert C. Kagle
BENCHMARK CAPITAL

Lawton W. Fitt
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO.

L. John Doerr
KLEINER PERKINS CAUFIELD & BYERS  

Bernard Arnault
LVMH MOET HENNESSY
LOUIS VUITTON  

[the visionaries]
Mary G. Meeker
MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER

John Hagel III
MCKINSEY & CO.

William Joy
SUN MICROSYSTEMS

[the architects]
Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
IBM CORP.

Pehong Chen
BROADVISION INC.

David C. Peterschmidt
INKTOMI INC.

Kevin J. O'Connor
DOUBLECLICK

Ellen M. Hancock
EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS

[the pace setters]
David S. Pottruck
CHARLES SCHWAB CORP.

John T. Chambers
CISCO SYSTEMS

Michael S. Dell
DELL COMPUTER



INTERACT
E-Mail to Business Week Online

 
Copyright 1999, Bloomberg L.P.
Terms of Use   Privacy Policy