The investment banking industry has undergone significant consolidation over the past two decades, and this has made it increasingly difficult for entrepreneurial-growth and middle-market companies to raise capital. Meanwhile, the economy has doubled in size. The shift to electronic trading eliminated the economic model that investment banks and brokerage firms depended on to support an ecosystem of investment bankers, analysts, and sales professionals that made the U.S. capital formation engine the envy of capital markets across the world. This collapse in economic incentives eliminated over 100 investment banks. Surviving firms reorganized, cut costs, and shed highly trained professionals. In response, large numbers of smaller investment banks have formed, but none have the critical mass and organizational structure required to adequately serve entrepreneurial-growth and middle-market companies effectively. Today, more than 900 firms with 50 or fewer professionals generally struggle to execute in this underserved market, and, the U.S. economy (and these talented professionals) pays the price.
Recently, the onset of COVID and the elimination of State and Local Tax Deductions (“SALT”) combined to turbocharge a Great Migration of human capital. Professionals are increasingly seeking work arrangements that allow them the flexibility to live anywhere and work from anywhere including home. Workers no longer want to be tethered exclusively to the business districts of major cities.
Enter Weild & Co., whose management drove the most transformative pro-growth and pro-capital-access legislation in a generation – The JOBS Act (“JOBS” is an acronym for “Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act” – see Wikipedia). Bringing their insights and expertise gained from running a Top 10 investment bank to the cloud, Weild & Co. is filling a market need by building a large-scale platform to combine the best elements of traditional investment banks with those of network-leveraging business models more commonly found in Silicon Valley: Weild & Co. follows an independent contractor model – as found at Uber, Airbnb, Compass, and independent financial advisors – where investment bankers enjoy higher payouts. This creates a lower capital need, rewards performance, and enables faster growth. The first major decentralized investment bank is already home to investment banking professionals in half of all fifty states plus three foreign countries. This year, Weild & Co. was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States.
By leveraging the cloud and providing worker flexibility, Weild & Co. Inc. is bringing together dispersed, independent, and proven professionals to collaborate and serve a growing array of high-impact and innovative industries with critical mass investment banking products and services. Industry expertise and coverage spans financial services, insurance, healthcare, consumer, energy, clean energy, telecom & media, biotech, real estate, and other sectors. Many high-growth and high-impact industries exist within these sectors, including blockchain and cryptocurrency, climate change and renewable energy, life sciences, medical devices, and health care IT. Weild also provides top-tier excellence in the execution of core investment banking products such as equity and debt capital raising, mergers and acquisitions advisory and fund raising advisory and placement.
Meet the Visionary
Weild & Co.’s founder, chairman, and CEO is David Weild. He is a well-known capital markets and capital formation expert who has testified before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the 34-member nations and the European Commission for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Many consider him the “Father of the JOBS Act” because of the research he led to recognize and define the long-term structural collapse in the IPO and listed-company markets.
In 1980, Mr. Weild was a research scientist working on a doctorate in molecular genetics. When Genentech went public, he was excited by the potential of helping entrepreneurs and scientists access capital to drive social impact and decided to pursue an MBA from the Stern School of Business where he studied on exchange in France and Sweden and served as the European Correspondent for Genetic Engineering News (GEN). After business school, Weild joined a major New York investment bank where he ran equity syndicate, equity capital markets, strategic planning, and investment banking. Weild’s mentor was Wick Simmons, CEO of Prudential Securities, who had been President of Shearson Lehman under Sandy Weill and then left to become Chairman and CEO of the Nasdaq Stock Market. Mr. Weild followed him.
From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Weild served as Vice Chairman of The NASDAQ Stock Market, in charge of the Corporate Client Division, with line responsibility for NASDAQ’s 5,000 listed companies. He created NASDAQ’s Market Intelligence Desk, Corporate Services Network, and dual-listings strategy, which ultimately resulted in listing Charles Schwab and Hewlett Packard. He had the privilege of working with NASDAQ senior management, the SEC, the U.S. Treasury, and the U.S. Congress to reopen the U.S. stock markets in the aftermath of 9/11 and had the honor of leading his team to work with NASDAQ listed companies to implement share repurchase programs as a safety net to help investor confidence when markets reopened.
At the time, Mr. Weild regularly interacted with the management of Cisco (John Chambers and Larry Carter), Starbucks (Howard Schultz and Matt Casey), Intel (Craig Barrett and Arvind Sodhani), Microsoft (Steve Ballmer) and Apple (Steve Jobs). In this role, he developed a keen understanding of how regulation could change market structure and help or hinder investor confidence and entrepreneurial access to capital. During his career, he has participated in managing more than 1,000 public equity offering transactions.
A Place with a Culture of Excellence and Integrity
While Weild & Co. welcomes bankers of all ages and backgrounds, the lifestyle model that it offers lends itself to professionals who are at later stages in their careers or those that need to work from home. Currently, the average age of Weild & Co.’s professionals is 55. They are highly experienced, highly connected, and have lost many of the sharp edges that years of accumulated wisdom tend to cure. The firm’s core values are:
- Commitment to Excellence.
- Collaboration to Bring the Right Expertise to Clients and Deliver Better Results.
- Diversity Creates Strength.
- Treat Everyone Fairly and with Respect,
- Be a Difference Maker.
Weild & Co. has a reputation within the highly fragmented market for embracing regulation and having a commitment to helping legislators and regulators refine rulebooks, incentives and disincentives, to improve societal outcomes. The firm sees legislators and regulators as its partners with whom it works to improve markets to make the American Dream more attainable.
Heading to Improve Investment Banking System
Mr. Weild states that Weild & Co. was rapidly growing before COVID, but that the Pandemic has really accelerated the acceptance of its model by all industry participants as the investment in technology to support work-from-anywhere has skyrocketed. He further adds that it will just get better and better for people working from home and the firm’s management is highly confident that it will bring investment banking to all 50 States, and across a record number of industry verticals.
Weild & Co. is building the first Major Bracket Decentralized Investment Bank. It is doing this by harnessing the power of the cloud to bring together dispersed, independent and proven professionals to collaborate remotely and deliver better results in areas critical to capital access, social impact, and economic growth. The firm is registered in all 50 States and fields professionals in 22 States and 4 countries. In time, it will open up locally registered entities in a series of countries to better serve clients in Europe, Asia, Latin American and Africa. The firm aims to become the World’s largest cloud-based investment bank.
Written by Steve Sanchez.