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Fidelity held a conference June, 2014 to present opening access to Initial Public Offerings. Their pitch to entrepreneurs was: "Skip the traditional investment bankers and their large fees for your initial public offering. Fidelity's massive brokerage-customer base is hungry for IPO shares. There is a group of investment banks who control the IPO market,'' said Hank Erbe, the head of equity origination at Fidelity Capital Markets. "I worked on Wall Street for over 25 years, and I'm one of the guys who built the walls around the cartel.''(par.2) Those are the words from members of one of the most influential US based financial services firm. 

(photocredit: Andrey Kozlov)

Hank Erbe (Head of Equity Origination/Syn at Fidelity Investments) said that: "Fidelity continues to partner with big IPO underwriters like Goldman Sachs Group and Credit Suisse Group, and that will not change overnight"(par.4) He also mentioned that the company has been keeping an eye on the crowdfunded projects, especially the ones on Kickstarter. Mr. Erbe was unhappy with the fact that, "despite all the changes in finance and technology over the past decade, Wall Street still has a lock on the way stock offerings work." (par.5)

(photocredit: Andrey Kozlov)

William Hambrecht had been also present on the conference. Mr. Hambrecht is a San Francisco investment banker whose current company, WR Hambrecht offers "open IPOs,'' which provide open access to the public cutting down the costs. William is quite famous for the fact that he previously made Google Inc. to get rid of some of its IPO shares for sale through a public aurction which was held in the past. 

Brian Conroy (president of Fidelity's Capital Markets group) said that: "Fidelity is not an underwriter and does not plan to become one, but as the largest retail brokerage firm in the world, with about 20 million customers, it wants to be able to provide people with more IPO shares". (par.13)  

Fidelity used its mutual funds to make investments in firms both public and private. A perfect example of that is Facebook. By investing that money in private capital rounds for startups, Fidelity gets them in return as shares when those companies go public. In 2013, Fidelity brokerage customers took part in 285 IPOs, creating a demand for shares which was worth $3.5 billion. Fidelity's Mr.Erbe said: "the main goals are greater transparency, lower costs, and a level playing field for retail investors. But he did not set a limit for Fidelity in the coming years."This is going to be our beachhead.'' (par.27)

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