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Merrill lynch

Venture Services Group

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Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management


Venture Services is a 60+ person team focused exclusively on private investors: Private Equity, Venture Capital, Sovereign, Cross-Over, and Corporate funds as well as their General and Limited Partners.

Our team is proud to be recognized in the following professional awards:
2023 and 2024 Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams


*Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.

Welcome

Venture Services is dedicated exclusively to serving the brokerage and custody needs of the Venture Capital & Private Equity global communities. For more than 20 years, we have helped investors thoughtfully and discretely acquire, hedge, leverage, and monetize public market investments globally.

We are extremely proud of our commitment to diversity, particularly in how we have shaped our team and think about our business. We firmly believe the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our 60+ member team enhances what we do each day for clients and how we approach solutions.

Office Locations

Our offices are located in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Phoenix, Miami, and Newport Beach.

555 California Street | Suite 1800 | San Francisco | CA | 94104
One Bryant Park | 28th Floor | New York | NY | 10036
100 Federal Street | 24th Floor | Boston | MA | 02110
2555 East Camelback Road | Suite 900 | Phoenix | AZ | 85016
701 Brickell Avenue | 10th Floor | Miami | FL | 33131
520 Newport Center Drive | 20th Floor | Newport Beach | CA | 92660

About Us

Our business was founded in 1994 on the premise that the Venture Capital and Private Equity community has a unique set of needs that are not adequately serviced by traditional institutional or retail brokerage divisions. Our clients are the broad constituency of alternative investors: Angels, Seed, Venture Capital, Endowments, Corporates, Pensions, SWIFS, Private Equity, Fund of Funds, and Hedge Funds, as well as individuals, with the commonality of private investments and high expectations. 

We offer a full suite of tailored services that encompass the brokerage, banking, and operational needs of the Venture Capital and Private Equity community. These services range from the management of stock distributions, restricted stock sales and settlement, drafting and implementation of 10b5-1 plans, and other alternative monetization strategies. In addition, as a broker-dealer, Merrill is a “Qualified Custodian” under Rule 206(4)-2 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. More broadly, we act as a conduit into the Bank of America Enterprise for our clients and their portfolio companies.


*Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.



Global Stock Distributions

Bolstered by the extensive experience of our industry-leading 60+ person team and network of over 46,000 Limited Partner relationships, Venture Services offers a unique and comprehensive operational approach to facilitating stock distributions for funds of all sizes, stages, and sectors that focuses on personalized interaction with every limited partner. 

Distributions can:

  • Efficiently navigate securities law complexities
  • Mitigate stock liquidity constraints
  • Effectively and thoughtfully place stock in the hands of the buyers in conjunction with the Bank of America Securities equity desk and their extensive network of institutional relationships 
  • Promote tax efficiency for tax-sensitive recipients
  • Be incorporated into 10b5-1 Plans for SEC Affiliate Shareholders, including Funds and General Partners

Please contact our team to discuss the benefits of a stock distribution for your fund and how we can assist with these important liquidity events.

 

*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Global Trading & Settlements

Venture Services provides clients with a high-touch coverage model. From fund level block trading to management of stock distributions, our trading desk offers a comprehensive trading experience for clients and their limited partners. Clients have access to a broad range of customizable execution strategies in both US markets and most major international exchanges. We have over 20 years of experience handling restricted stock trades and work closely with both clients and their counsel to help ensure we are compliant with regulatory filing requirements. Our team provides investment managers and finance teams with market intelligence, insights on monetization tactics, and global liquidity data, for both public markets as well as secondary private markets.  Our private market strategy is to discover liquidity opportunities for institutional level clients in the $25M to $250M notional range.

While trading quality is of the highest priority, we understand settlement is a key component of complex trades. Venture Services can assist with a variety of settlement types, both domestically and internationally. When required for US trades, we are able to help manage an extended settlement process, allowing clients flexibility with execution timing. Our singular platform can consolidate custody, trading, and settlement activity into one place to optimize operating and reporting efficiency. Whether Delivery Versus Payment, Receive Versus Payment, Trades Done Away or Foreign Settlements, feel free to inquire regarding our capabilities for your next equity transaction.

Trading & Settlement Highlights:

  • 40+ fully registered team members to accommodate any size event
  • Over 20+ years of trading and settling Venture Capital and Private Equity backed names on our platform
  • $9.2B+ notional in block trades (trailing 12 months as of May 2024)
  • For working orders, Merrill provides mid-point pricing and does not sell order flow for payment
  • Our team does not represent the counter party to your trade, eliminating any pricing conflicts of interest

Available Solutions:

  • Derivatives
  • Structured Products
  • Block Trades
  • Private Markets

 


*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

*Alternative investments are intended for qualified investors only. Alternative investments such as derivatives, hedge funds, private equity funds, and funds of funds can result in higher return potential but also higher loss potential. Changes in economic conditions or other circumstances may adversely affect a client’s investments. Before a client invests in alternative investments, they should consider their overall financial situation, how much money they have to invest, their need for liquidity, and their tolerance for risk.



Custody Services

Venture Services has a client-driven service model with 20+ years of experience holding publicly traded securities, as well as private physical assets including preferred equities, warrants, promissory notes, and subscription agreements. As a broker-dealer, Merrill is a “Qualified Custodian” under Rule 206(4)-2 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

We have a specialized team to support all aspects of the custody relationship over the lifecycle of a portfolio holding, including full execution capabilities. Consider Venture Services a sole point of contact for your custody and brokerage needs.

 

*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

SEC Rule 10b5-1 Plans

Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds face unique considerations when it comes to achieving liquidity, which has led to the use of SEC Rule 10b5-1 Plans. The Venture Services team is adept in structuring and administering these plans and have utilized them to effect both sales and equity in-kind distributions for our clients. Structured properly, these plans may provide an affirmative defense against insider trading and offer a path for clients to monetize their position, when they might otherwise be prohibited because of trading windows.

Together, Merrill and the larger Bank of America organization are positioned to help you build on your success by implementing a Rule 10b5-1 plan strategy. For more information, please contact us.

 

*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Venture Network

To further supplement our services for General and Limited Partner clients, our Venture Network team can help introduce you to a top Merrill advisor that is familiar with your unique circumstances, preferences, and needs. The advisors within our Private Wealth network are highly experienced in topics such as options overlay, defensive strategies, carry derivatives, exchange funds, estate planning services, QSBS, and philanthropy, among many other areas.

Financial Services & Strategies include but are not limited to:

  • Cash Management
  • Banking and Lending through Bank of America
  • Investment Strategies
  • Concentrated Stock Management
  • Tax-Mitigation Strategies
  • Philanthropy
  • Trust and Estate Planning Services
  • Access to Family Office Services
  • Rule 10b5-1 Plans
  • Business Solutions 401(k)

Please contact us to request our brochure: “You’ve received a stock distribution: What are your choices?”

 

*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

*Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Before engaging in the purchase or sale of options, investors should understand the nature of and extent of their rights and obligations and be aware of the risks involved in investing with options. Prior to buying or selling an option, clients must receive the options disclosure document Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. This document is available by contacting your Merrill Financial Advisor.

*Trust, fiduciary, and investment management services are provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”), and its agents.

*Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Annual Private Equity CFO Conference

The Merrill Private Equity CFO Conference is designed to address pertinent issues facing today’s Private Equity Finance Professionals, Chief Operating & Compliance Officers and General Counsels. The current Legal, Tax/Audit and Public & Private Market environments are focal points. We understand that our attendees fill many roles within their organization, often overseeing non-financial matters such as Fund Administration, Regulatory & Compliance, Insurance, Human Resources, Back-Office Logistics & Technology, etc. The goal of the Conference is to address many of these areas with a special emphasis on recent developments in each field.

Please contact us at privateequitycfoconference@ml.com to learn more.

This event is by invitation only.

Meet Our Team

Our team of more than 60 professionals is managed by a group of seasoned individuals, working together to deliver a world-class experience for each of our clients.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial approach, our goal is to help you stay on track to achieve what's most important to you.



Reviews to help you
stay on track

We’ll meet with you to review your goals and the progress you’ve made toward reaching them. We’ll also discuss any adjustments needed to your financial approach to help you stay on course.



    Changes in your life
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    Your life and goals change. As these changes occur, we can update your approach to reflect them.

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      Let’s Have a Conversation

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      No question too big or moment too small
      For every question you have, every decision you make and every answer you need, we are with you to listen and help guide you along the many paths your life can take. Watch this video to see some questions we can address together.


      The Power of the Right Advisor®
      Working with a dedicated Merrill advisor means you get personalized investment strategies from Merrill plus access to comprehensive financial solutions only Bank of America can deliver.

      Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

      We get to know you and your family, your financial situation and what matters most to you.

      A comprehensive approach, built around your life’s priorities.

      Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, together we will design an approach that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

      Adjusting your investment approach as your life and the markets change.

      We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.