ECN – Technology Solutions to Accelerate and
Enhance the Exempt Capital Markets
EXEMPT MARKET TECHNOLOGY - SELLING SECURITIES ON THE INTERNET
Earlier this year, in a heritage building on Calgary’s Stephen
Avenue Mall, three resourceful entrepreneurs quietly launched
The Exempt Capital Network – ECN, a global investment banking
platform that brings investment firms, investors and mid-cap
companies together to collaborate on private equity investments.
But it didn’t begin then. ECN really got its start in 1999, when
Neal Gledhil, a seasoned investment banker and former VP of
a national independent broker/dealer decided that the Internet
could be a valuable resource for companies looking to raise
capital. That’s when he launched EMBRO Capital Network, one
of North America’s first Internet based investment banking firms.
Identified as Canada’s first investment banking pioneer by the
National Post, Gledhil and EMBRO had early success, attracting
investors and bankers from all parts of the globe.
The Growth of Private Equity
Although slightly ahead of his time, Gledhil was on to something.
Today, private equity is on a steep growth curve because investors
are becoming less enthusiastic about the public markets and are
looking to diversify their portfolios by accessing private equity
investments. Unfortunately, the private equity securities market
remains fragmented in nature because most small to mid-cap
brokers and investment firms are limited to offers and investors
from within their own geographic boundaries. Issuers don’t have
access to large pools of investors and investors don’t have access
to deals. The exempt market is ready for a change.
2013 & the Launch of ECN
Gledhil, his colleagues and advisors spent significant time,
money and effort developing a new, more refined private equity
platform that could operate on a global scale, giving investors
a broader choice of investment opportunities, broker/dealers the
ability to collaborate on cross jurisdictional deals and issuers
efficient access to capital. ECN designed and built its platform to
manage compliance in multiple jurisdictions.
In Canada, Waverley Corporate Financial Services Ltd.
(Waverley), an Exempt Market Dealer (EMD), has licensed
the ECN platform as well as the services of ECN to operate
the technical aspects of the site. Gledhil is a dealing rep under
Waverley. In Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C., securities are
offered and transactions are undertaken by Waverley while in
other jurisdictions, where possible, securities are offered through
a registrant in that jurisdiction in conjunction with Waverley.
There is no cost to join ECN, but you must be an “accredited
investor” as defined by National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus and
Registration Exemptions to do so. Since launching the platform,
ECN has attracted individual and institutional investors from over
45 cities around the world – virtually every major financial centre.
By Sandi Gilbert, Chief Operating Officer, ECN
“Maybe we were ahead of the curve in 1999, but
today we feel we are riding the crest of a significant
paradigm shift in the capital markets.”
Neal Gledhil, ECN’s Founder & CEO