Alibaba's draw was evident on Monday. Investors waited on long lines for elevators, making some fret about being able to make it to the venue on time and other hotel guests wondering about the cause of the commotion. Among the investors attending the event was Mario Gabelli, CEO of Gabelli Asset Management.
The event, which started later than expected, kicked off with a video about the company. Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai presented some slides; Ma's remarks followed.
Management took questions from investors. But 3i's Yosri said all questions were screened. He said he was disappointed they didn't take "the tough New York questions."
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Alibaba executives and bankers started their day early, with a management presentation to about 300 salespeople for the six banks underwriting its offering. They gathered at Citigroup Inc's offices on Greenwich street in Lower Manhattan for an hour, according to the source familiar with the meeting.
Besides Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley are the joint bookrunners for Alibaba's IPO. Rothschild is Alibaba's independent equity adviser.
Tsai fielded questions and did the main presenting to the sales force at the Citigroup meeting, according to the source.
Alibaba is selling 123.1 million of the 320.1 million ADS shares slated for the IPO. Shareholders including Ma, Tsai and Yahoo are offering the remainder.
The company plans a Tuesday presentation at the Four Seasons hotel in Boston, according to a person who saw an invitation.