is now offering its customers access to IPOs through WR Hambrecht
's OpenIPO. The system, developed by Hambrecht and used by both companies, allows for more egalitarian investing opportunities.
“OpenIPO is a trailblazer in using technology to democratize and improve
the traditional financial services model,” said Steven Wallman
, FOLIOfn founder and chief executive officer. “Typically, IPOs are only available to institutional
investors and a few, select individual investors. In contrast, the OpenIPO
process is available to all qualified investors."
The new offering was born of FOLIOfn's desire to stay at the front edge of investing and technology.
"The demand really comes from the desire for FOLIO to offer alterantive financial investment vehicles," said Michael Bell
, chief administrative officer and general counsel for FOLIOfn. "We're about innovation of new financial products."
OpenIPO isn't FOLIOfn's first foray into the arena of alternative investing; a September deal with Offroad Capital brought venture capital to FOLIOfn's clients. What's next for the Virginians? Hedge funds? Very likely.
"We are currently talking to a number of companies that offer alternative financial products and will announce them as soon as we can," said Bell. "We will be making announcements in the short term."
Through the days of the bursting dot-coms, many have waited for FOLIOfn's bubble to burst, yet it continues to expand. The question is, is it filled with substance or hot air? Since Wallman remains notoriously tight-lipped about his company's client base and their assets, nobody can even ballpark the company's actual success. The dichotomy of the very public, very private company tickles the curiosity of industry onlookers as we all contemplate this enigma wrapped in a Web site.
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