Liquidnet launches global institutional platform for fast growing private-company shares trading
Provides Asset Management Firms Access to High Growth Investment Opportunities in New Asset-Class
Leading Internet Company Expert Lou Kerner to Head Team That Will Make New Market More Efficient for Institutional Investors and Private Companies
New York, October 17, 2011
Liquidnet, the global institutional trading network, today announced the appointment of Lou Kerner, a leading Internet and social media expert, to head a team that will bring the efficiencies and scale of Liquidnet’s global institutional network to the fast-growing market in private-company shares trading.
Trading in the shares of private and pre-IPO companies has expanded rapidly in recent years, highlighted by interest in such Internet-leaders including Facebook, Groupon and Twitter. Kerner and his team will work with the largest institutional investors around the world seeking access to high-growth opportunities and directly with private companies seeking to set up programs for orderly transfers of equity stakes. The Private Shares Group will be part of Liquidnet’s Equity Capital Markets group reporting to business head Steve Greenblatt.
“The private-company market is ready for what Liquidnet does best – driving improvements in efficiency that benefit all market participants,” said Seth Merrin, Founder and CEO at Liquidnet. “We’re uniquely positioned to bring institutions searching for high-growth investments together with successful private companies who want their equity held by committed, long-term investors. By opening the channels for significant institutional participation, we can transform a market, taking it to a new level of efficiency. These institutional investors will now have the opportunity to capture alpha by investing in the most innovative companies in the world in the size they want.”
Kerner is the foremost Wall Street social media and private company analyst and brings deep expertise in facilitating private share sales. He is known for raising awareness of what he has called the “Second Internet”, represented by those companies which are born out of the transformational social media and mobile revolutions and best positioned to scale and generate value in today’s market. He has also been influential in growing the private share asset class, a market that is likely to see 50% growth in the value of transactions this year, to approximately $7 billion.
“There is no one better positioned than Liquidnet to bring the private-company market to the institutional investment community. Liquidnet’s rapid growth, culture, technology platform and commitment to disruptive innovation is very much like the types of companies we find in the Second Internet space,” said Kerner. “Private companies want their equity to be held by these long-term, committed investors that make up Liquidnet’s global trading network. This adds up to an exceptional opportunity for this vibrant, fast-growing asset category.”
“Through his influence, Lou has been instrumental in the growth of the private-company share market,” said Greenblatt. “Lou and his team have shown time and again that they ‘get’ these companies and this market, generating valuable insights. They are also a natural cultural fit for Liquidnet representing the same entrepreneurial drive that has driven Liquidnet’s growth over the past decade.”
Kerner joins Liquidnet from Wedbush Securities where he was Vice President of Equity Research covering the Social Media and E-Commerce sectors. For the last ten years Lou has been a serial entrepreneur with previous ventures including Bolt Media, one of the original social networks and The .tv Corporation, which licensed the top level domain .tv from the tiny island nation of Tuvalu. Lou spent the first seven years of his career on Wall Street as an equity analyst following media companies at Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.
Liquidnet is the global institutional trading network that connects equity investors with the liquidity they need– in size, at any time, from anywhere. We go beyond what the retail market can provide by defending and securing the integrity and the anonymity of the block trade. We do this while continuously looking for ways to bring in new sources of safe, actionable liquidity from asset management firms, exchanges, brokers and corporations. Since we launched in 2001, our ability to anticipate and meet institutional demand has allowed us to extend trading to 39 equity markets across five continents for asset management firms who collectively manage US$12.5 trillion. For more information on the Liquidnet community, its liquidity, block executions, and additional investment capabilities, visit www.liquidnet.com.
Liquidnet Holdings, Inc.
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