With initial public offerings (IPOs) soaring this year, the annual IPO record has been broken in less than six months. And at the end of the third quarter, more than 2,000 IPOs had raised a total of $ 421 billion globally. The momentum of this unprecedented IPO boom set the stage for many record times, including Hayward’s IPO lead time – four months.

Since a typical IPO execution process takes six to 12 months, Hayward’s Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) Mike Colicchio had a lot to consider when he learned on November 15, 2020 that the executives wanted to execute an IPO.

With Mike’s experience on other IPOs over his 35-year career, he knew he needed a cloud-based collaboration tool to speed up deadlines and capture the momentum of the boom in IPOs. This is where Workiva comes in.

A pandemic situation: connecting employees in a distant world

With remote working going as usual, the pandemic posed a challenge: How could Hayward connect dozens of internal staff, external legal advisers, and auditors to work together in real time? To eliminate email back-and-forth and propel productivity during disruption, Mike evaluated cloud-based technology to enable seamless, controlled collaboration in a shared workspace.

Mike knew Workiva and its reputation for making work easier. The cloud platform allows everyone to access documents remotely and work at the same time, making it the obvious choice for Hayward’s IPO filing.

“Those days of scanning or printing PDFs delivered via email have been eliminated,” Mike said. “The Workiva platform allows you to collaborate with multiple people by making changes in a document: three minds can work at the same time, four minds, five minds. ”

Partners on the path to IPO

In preparation for its IPO, Hayward had to perform procedures that it did not previously have as a private company. Mike’s team worked with accounting, tax and business consulting firm EisnerAmper directly in the platform during the process.

Together, EisnerAmper and the Workiva team have developed processes using the Workiva platform to ensure that Hayward can meet the demands of their auditor. With the Workiva platform, Hayward was able to:

  • Speed ​​up review time by giving all associates, including external auditors and lawyers, access to leave comments directly on working papers

  • Increase control with the ability to manage view and edit permissions on specific sections or entire documents

  • Gain greater visibility into changes with an automated audit trail of revisions

“We had control over what happened and when,” said Jerry Ravi, partner at EisnerAmper and national practice manager for EisnerAmper Digital. “We want to allow teams to do more analysis rather than creating manual processes and headaches. We strive to do things differently to create real change. ”

Jerry has worked on over 200 IPOs during his career, and Hayward’s IPO was one for the books.

“It’s probably one of the most accelerated IPO processes I’ve ever been involved in,” Jerry said. “What was most exciting was that we were able to leverage Workiva to help us do this. ”

With the right team in place and the right platform to collaborate on, Hayward began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 12, 2021.

“What should have taken double the time took half the time, and I really think it was because of the collaboration allowed using a tool like Workiva,” Mike said.

The pool of possibilities with specially designed technology

With another IPO under his belt, Mike recognizes the importance of specially designed technology for the process. “I’ve spent 35 years in the business. It’s the best software I’ve ever used. It’s so good,” he said.
And as the Hayward team continues its journey as a public company, Mike has expanded his use of the Workiva platform for ongoing SEC reporting and will look for other ways to simplify the complex as we go. his growth.

Want to learn more about how pool equipment company Hayward sped up the IPO process during the pandemic? Discover their full customer story!