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The IPO Boom: How Hayward Accelerated Their Process During the Pandemic

SEC Reporting
Hayward blog
4 min read
Published: December 17, 2021
Last Updated: December 23, 2021

With the surge of initial public offerings (IPOs) this year, the annual IPO record was broken in less than six months. And by the end of Q3, more than 2,000 IPOs raised a combined $421 billion globally. The momentum during this unprecedented IPO boom has paved the way for many record-breaking moments, including Hayward’s IPO turnaround time—four months.

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

With Mike’s experience working on other IPOs during his 35-year career, he knew he needed a cloud collaboration tool to accelerate timelines and capture the momentum of the IPO boom. That’s where Workiva came in.

A pandemic predicament: Connecting collaborators in a remote world

With remote work hailing as business as usual, the pandemic posed a challenge: How could Hayward connect dozens of internal collaborators, external counsel, and auditors to work together in real time? To eliminate the back and forth of emails and propel productivity during the disruption, Mike evaluated cloud-based technology to enable transparent and controlled collaboration in a shared workspace.

Mike knew of Workiva and its reputation for simplifying work. The cloud platform enables everyone to access documents remotely and work at the same time—making it the clear choice for Hayward’s IPO filing.

“Those days of scanning or printing out PDFs circulated via the dreaded email were eliminated,” Mike said. “The Workiva platform allows you to collaborate with multiple people making edits in a document—three minds can work at the same time, four minds, five minds.”

Partners on the path to going public

In preparation to go public, Hayward had to execute procedures it hadn’t before as a private company. Mike’s team worked with accounting, tax, and business advisory firm EisnerAmper directly in the platform during the process. 

Together, EisnerAmper and the Workiva team developed processes using the Workiva platform to ensure Hayward could meet its auditor’s requirements. With the Workiva platform, Hayward was able to:

  • Speed up review time by giving all collaborators, including external auditors and attorneys, access to leave comments directly on working documents
  • Increase control with the ability to manage view and edit permissions on specific sections or whole documents
  • Gain greater visibility into edits with an automated audit trail of revisions

“We had control as to what was going on and when,” said Jerry Ravi, a partner at EisnerAmper and National Practice Leader of EisnerAmper Digital. “We want to enable teams to do more analysis versus creating manual processes and headaches. We strive to do things differently to create true change.”

Jerry has worked on more than 200 IPOs during his career, and the Hayward IPO was one for the books.

“This is probably one of the most accelerated processes in IPOs that I’ve ever been a part of,” Jerry said. “What was most exciting is that we were able to leverage Workiva to help us do that.”

With the right team in place, and the right platform to collaborate on, Hayward started 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 believe it was because of the collaboration allowed by using a tool such as Workiva,” said Mike.

The pool of possibilities with purpose-built technology

With another IPO under his belt, Mike acknowledges the importance of purpose-built technology for the process. “I’ve spent 35 years in the business. This is the best software I’ve ever used. It’s that good,” he said.
And as the Hayward team continues their journey as a public company, Mike has expanded his use of the Workiva platform for ongoing SEC reporting, and will look for more ways to simplify the complex as they continue to grow.

Want to learn more about how pool equipment company Hayward hastened the IPO process during the pandemic? Check out their full customer story!

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