Frank Quattrone, once the top investment banker in Silicon Valley until he was charged in 2003 with covering up IPO abuses, is planting the seeds of his comeback.
Quattrone, who was cleared last year, spoke exclusively with CNBC Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn, his first interview in nearly four years. Quattrone is vowing to resume his business career, but is concerned about regulations that are sending business overseas
Quattrone spoke of his concerns over "disturbing" trends on the shrinking U.S. initial public offering (IPO) market. In the six years ended 2000, about 100 to 200 tech companies, on average, went public, riasing about $5 billion a year, Quattrone said. In the six years ended 2006, that dropped to about 25 to 50 tech IPOs a year, raising about $2 billion per year.
Previously, it would take a company three to four years to go from the venture capital stage to either being bought out or going public. Today, that has doubled to around six years and many blame that on post-Enron reforms.
Quattrone says he is worried that, "if the pendulum's swung too far, it would choke off the entrepreneurial spirit that makes our country great".