About WR Hambrecht + Co

We help companies of all sizes understand the Reg A process to allow them to access capital at the lowest possible cost in order to accelerate disruptive growth.

WR Hambrecht + Co was founded in January 1998 to level the playing field for investors and our corporate clients. Our Founder, Bill Hambrecht, is a Silicon Valley pioneer who has been financing growth companies from Apple to Google during his time at Hambrecht & Quist and WRH+Co.

Throughout our history, WRH+Co has been an innovative leader with a core philosophy based on three tenets:

  • identifying exceptional companies
  • helping them understand the capital raising process to go public early
  • helping to achieve efficient market pricing

Our current innovation initiatives include applying Data Science and Disruption Theory analytics to better understand companies and industries at all stages.

WR Hambrecht + Co is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York.

Strategic Advising

We strive to work with uncommon companies with compelling growth opportunities, including those that are deemed “too small” to go public. It has long been our conviction that access to public capital enables growth companies to focus on innovation while providing an opportunity for all classes of investors to participate.

To accomplish this, we have created products like the OpenIPO Auction, influenced regulation change and worked to help companies achieve more efficient market pricing.

The OpenIPO® auction, for example, levels the playing field in initial public offerings, allowing individuals and institutional investors to bid online for shares of an IPO. All investors end up paying the same price — a price determined by the auction.

Under new provisions of the 2012 JOBS Act, we have been a pioneer and advocate for the distribution of independent pre-IPO research to all investors. Further, Bill and our firm were cited 29 times in the SEC’s proposed rulemaking for Regulation A+. We believe this proposed expansion of the Regulation A exemption would create a new option for early-stage growth companies to access public markets through the A+ IPO.

Strategic Advisory Focuses

The OpenIPO® Auction

A simpler way to efficient and transparent IPO price discovery.Available technology enables the distribution of issuer disclosure and research to any investor, and the collection of bids in a fair and systematic fashion. To learn more, click here.

The A+ IPO

Proposed Regulation A Tier 2 changes would provide growth companies streamlined access to public capital, enabling them to focus on innovation while providing an opportunity for all classes of investors to participate in their success. We intend to be at the forefront of the A+ IPO evolution. To learn more, click here.

The OpenFollowOn® Auction

Extends the transparency and real-time price discovery of the OpenBook auction to follow-on equity offerings allowing interactive bidding and gives investors a view into the book as it builds.

Venture Capital and Applied Disruption Theory

Disruption Theory, as articulated by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen in his landmark work The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997), is at the core of our firm’s strategy. In addition to traditional fundamental analysis, we combine Disruption Theory with unique data science and technologies to better understand companies and industries. In collaboration with Professor Christensen, William Hambrecht, Thomas Thurston and fellow teammates, the firm continues to pioneer and refine the use of Disruption Theory and data science analytics in the context of business growth and innovation.

This unique approach enables us to identify and support disruptive companies with breakthrough insight, precision and speed.

Venture Capital Team

John Hullar

Chairman and Managing Partner
Prior to joining WRH+Co, John spent 11 years at Wells Fargo Securities, serving as President and CEO, and, most recently as Managing Director, Western Region. Before joining Wells Fargo Securities, John was Director of Worldwide Sales at Hambrecht & Quist, where he oversaw all aspects of U.S. and International Institutional Sales and Accounts, Executive Financial Services and Venture Services Sales. He was also a member of the Operating Committee, Brokerage Committee, and Equity Commitment Committee. Prior to joining Hambrecht & Quist, John was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley where he held leadership positions in Institutional Equities in New York, Tokyo, and London. John holds a B.A. from Yale University. He was a member of the Yale University Development Board; a Trustee and Chair of Finance at The Hamlin School and The Branson School; and a Trustee of The First Tee Chapter of San Francisco.

Eugene Yates

Partner, Chief Financial Officer
Before joining WRH+Co, Gene spent three years as a financial consultant in the asset management and commercial banking industries. Prior to being a consultant, Gene was Chief Financial Officer for Wells Fargo Securities, LLC for five years. Preceding this, Gene spent eight years at Charles Schwab & Co. as Vice President Fixed Income Finance and Director of Regulatory Reporting. Earlier in his career Gene spent four years as a Senior Manager of Finance for Cedel, a cross-border securities clearing house in Luxembourg. Gene is a Certified Public Accountant, and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from USC.

Thomas Thurston

Partner, WR Hambrecht Ventures
Thomas is a Partner at WR Hambrecht Ventures. He created the MESE™ computing system; an analytics platform developed to provide unique insights into markets and businesses. He also leads ongoing joint R&D to evolve and deploy MESE™ with an elite group of industry-leading firms in diverse industries worldwide. Prior to WR Hambrecht Ventures, Thomas led an R&D collaboration with Intel, the Harvard Business School and Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen on the use of data science and algorithms to guide growth and innovation efforts. He helped found a business in the high-performance computing industry that was later acquired and is a Board Director at Ironstone Group Inc. A fellow at the Harvard Business School, Thomas holds a BA, MBA, a Juris Doctor and is a member of the Harvard Forum for Growth and Innovation.

Elizabeth Hambrecht

Partner
Prior to joining WRH+Co, Elizabeth was CEO at Salon Media Group, which operates the popular Salon.com website. Before Salon, Elizabeth was a co-founder of Asiacontent.com, a pioneer in Asia’s Internet industry, and helped fund and launch Boom.com, Hong Kong’s first electronic brokerage. Prior to Boom.com, Elizabeth was an equities analyst covering emerging markets at Goldman Sachs (Hong Kong) and before that at Baring Securities. Elizabeth has served as a director of Salon Media Group, and as a Trustee of the San Francisco Friends School, the Asian Art Museum of SF and Northern California Public Broadcast (NCPB). She graduated with a B.A. degree from Vassar College and studied Mandarin at the Taipei Language Institute.

Kurt Kruger

Partner, Healthcare
Kurt has enjoyed a 30 year career in Medical Technology. His deep involvement in the field has ranged from product design and development as a biomedical engineer to raising capital for, and following, publicly traded medical product companies as an equities research analyst. As a marketing manager at Guidant, Kruger developed the launch plans for the first-ever implantable defibrillator. As a securities analyst he showed perspicuity leading Hambrecht & Quist in providing venture funds for, and then taking public, Ventritex, which was later acquired by St. Jude Medical. Kruger received an Sc.B. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University; a Master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan; and a business degree (S.M) from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also completed the premedical post-baccalaureate program at Columbia University.

Steven Aaron

Partner, Chief Compliance Officer
Before joining WRH+Co, Steve spent four years as a financial consultant in the securities compliance industry. Prior to being a consultant, Steve was a Vice President at Charles Schwab & Co., involved in handling complex regulatory investigations for one year. Preceding this, Steve spent five years at Wells Fargo Securities as its Chief Compliance Officer. Earlier in his career Steve spent nine years as the Chief Compliance Officer at Hambrecht & Quist, which merged into Chase H&Q, a division of Chase Securities, Inc. before finally merging with JP Morgan Securities, Inc. While at JP Morgan, Steve was Managing Director for West Coast Compliance. Steve holds a B.S. in Economics from University of Oregon, and a MBA from the University of San Francisco.