The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

San Francisco retells the growth story

US smaller-cap growth companies lost much of their investment banking support after the tech boom collapsed in 2000. But three firms with a solid research base and San Francisco roots are working hard to fill the gap. Antony Currie reports.

Who works at a new boutique? | The fall and rise of the Bay Area

Ford, Curhan and Merriman

ONE IS ABOUT to participate in its first lead-managed initial public offering. A second can point to a better flow of deals done. Another can reel off a longer list of IPOs and M&A mandates already under its belt. And all insist that research is crucial to its franchise. None has been in existence for longer than five years, each has started to expand out of San Francisco, and all are profitable.

The three firms – JMP Securities; ThinkEquity; and Merriman, Curhan and Ford – aspire to be the new force in investment banking for the sorts of companies whose heady rise in the 1990s led to the stock market boom and bust: the technology sector.

But the way executives at each firm describe themselves is broader than tech. "Our goal is to be the leading financier for companies under $2 billion market cap, for fast-growing companies," says Jon Merriman, CEO of Merriman, Curhan and Ford.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree