NASDAQ Private Market partners with investment bank

The private market liquidity provider is pairing with Scenic Advisement, a specialist in private capital raising, as companies take longer to list.

NASDAQ Private Market (NPM) and Scenic Advisement have entered a partnership to help private companies obtain liquidity through the secondaries market.

NPM, which provides private companies with technology for managing shareholder liquidity and equity, and Scenic, an investment bank specialising in primary and secondary capital fundraising, are developing end-to-end private placement and fulfillment services.

A spokesman for Scenic told Secondaries Investor that the partnership does not involve investment by one party into the other and that both NPM and Scenic are investing in their own platforms.

He added that both companies will continue operating as standalone firms.

Scenic was founded in 2013 by Barrett Cohn, who was previously a venture advisor at consumer sector-focused firm Maveron Ventures in San Francisco, and Michael Sobel, formerly BlackRock’s Americas head of equity trading and global head of fixed income index and iShares, according to Scenic’s website.

New York-based NPM is partnering with Scenic at a time when a private company remains privately held for an average of 10 years before an initial public offering, double the length compared with a decade ag. The partnership will support realising liquidity for early investors and employees, as well as raising private capital from institutional investors.

NASDAQ executive vice-president and NPM board manager Nelson Griggs said in the statement that more than 100 private companies have used the platform since it launched in 2014.

“As NASDAQ Private Market’s brand has grown, private companies have sought our assistance in capital introduction,” Griggs said in the statement. “The partnership with Scenic Advisement will help fulfill our broader objective to support private companies as they grow and scale their businesses.”

According to the spokesman, Scenic has worked with about 20 of the top 100 privately held companies, ranked by valuation, in the past 18 to 24 months.

This partnership follows NPM’s October 2015 acquisition of SecondMarket Solutions, a secondaries platform that helps private companies, their employees, and their investors sell securities.

In September, NPM head and former SecondMarket chief executive Bill Siegel left the company to join security risk firm SecurityScorecard as chief financial officer. He was succeeded by Eric Folkemer, a vice-president and 12-year NASDAQ veteran.