IPOs often require complex decisions and difficult trade-offs. Many companies enter discussions about an IPO only to abandon the effort part way. Before proceeding along this path, it is important for the Management and the Board to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of all capital alternatives. In many cases, there are other options that better fit the company’s needs. In general, an IPO is more often the right answer for a bank than for a mortgage company; more often for a large cap than a small cap; more often for a tightly controlled company than a flexible one.