ClearList, a digital trading platform that will transform price-discovery of private company securities and provide liquidity for those securities, was announced today, including its inaugural private-company client, San Diego-based Cibus, a leader in advanced plant-breeding technologies.
ClearList is majority-owned by GTS, a leading electronic market maker across global financial instruments, as well as the largest Designated Market Maker at the New York Stock Exchange and the largest wholesale market maker of over-the-counter securities in the United States. ClearList will utilize technology and market expertise provided by GTS.
“ClearList will be the equities marketplace for private companies,” said Ari Rubenstein, Chairman of ClearList and co-founder and CEO of GTS, the majority owner of ClearList. “America will need transparent capital formation to restart the post-Covid-19 economy and ClearList is a game-changing platform that will revolutionize the private-to-public life-cycle for America’s fastest growing and most enterprising companies. ClearList will bring unprecedented transparency to private company pricing, enabling growth and smoothing the road to a successful IPO.”
Peter Beetham, Ph.D., and CEO of Cibus, said, “ClearList is an urgently needed sophisticated trading platform for transparent valuation of exciting pre-IPO companies. The time is long overdue for private company investors in innovative companies like Cibus to have a fair, transparent and democratized platform on which to have their private shares traded.”
Paul Tudor Jones II, one of the pioneers of the modern-day investment industry, and Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Tudor Investment Corporation, said, “ClearList has invented the future of private markets investing and should set an industry standard by creating an unparalleled technology solution that solves long-standing problems, while also expanding investment access for qualified institutions and accredited individual investors.” Tudor Investment Corporation is a minority investor in ClearList.
Steven A. Cohen, the Chairman and CEO of Point 72, a leading global asset management firm, said, “ClearList has an innovative approach to creating more transparency and liquidity for private company securities, which I believe could be a gamechanger and welcomed development for private company investors.”
Steve Quirk, executive vice president of trading and education at TD Ameritrade, is serving as a senior advisor to ClearList. TD Ameritrade provides investing services and education to approximately 12 million client accounts totaling approximately $1.4 trillion in assets, and custodial services to more than 7,000 registered investment advisors. “We believe that equal-opportunity investing is the key to financial well-being and that’s why we support efforts by ClearList to help level the playing field for investors. This is a big win for retail investors, who have typically been shut out of pre-IPO investing,” Quirk said.
T. Rowe Price, a leading investment manager, is another senior advisor to ClearList. Mehmet Kinak, global head of systematic trading at T. Rowe Price, said, “ClearList will be an extremely innovative and low-cost platform for capital raising and a giant step forward for companies on the road to an IPO and investors who want to get in on the ground floor.”
Serving as chief executive of ClearList is Bill White, a long-time leader in the electronic trading industry with more than 30-years’ experience working in the capital markets. He said, “Addressing the cost, transparency and limited access to the private markets is the ClearList mission. We are offering private companies and their existing investors a vastly superior, issuer-friendly platform. ClearList creates choices for private companies at every stage of growth and capital management, helping define the path to the public markets.”
ClearList will offer the existing investor bases of its private-company clients access to a vast network of global investors with hundreds of billions of dollars of investment capital, through a network of 400+ family offices and institutional buyers. It will soon deploy a system for accredited retail investors to invest side-by-side with the largest investors in the world.
The ClearList platform is operationally organized around multiple innovative features and services that are the first of their kind in the private-markets space:
- ClearInvestors. ClearList empowers private companies to understand and develop their investor base.
- ClearPrice. ClearList will use proprietary technology to continuously calculate ClearPrice, a fair and transparent price where buyers and sellers can transact. ClearPrice is calculated based on supply and demand of private company shares. GTS will provide the full technology solution for ClearList, using the same technology used to price and trade securities at the NYSE as part of the GTS Securities market making operation.
- ClearTrade. ClearList will manage and operate a transparent and compliant Alternative Trading System (ATS) to provide for trading of private company shares by investors. The ATS will enable secure trading and, through its partner network, confirm trade executions and facilitate settlements, by verifying payment and delivery instructions.
Michael Piwowar, former commissioner and acting chairman at the Securities and Exchange Commission and a current advisor to GTS, said, “ClearList solves a long-standing problem of limited retail access to the private markets and opaque valuations for many private companies. Democratizing investor access to the private markets and fair pricing will be an important contributor to strengthening our capital markets ecosystem.”
ClearList will allow trades of securities to remain exempt from the Securities Act of 1933 registration requirements, because the ATS will monitor transfers and legal holders on a real-time basis. Sellers and their securities will be vetted to ensure any resales are exempt from registration, and buyers will be pre-cleared as Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) or accredited retail investors before they are able to bid. ClearList already has engaged the SEC to seek affirmative SEC guidance.