Tech Finance Pioneer Bill Hambrecht to Speak Jan. 31

From the early days of Apple and Adobe to Internet giant Google's unique IPO, Bill Hambrecht has been there, underwriting IPOs and backing some of the most important, influential technology startups. Hambrecht will discuss his more than 50 years in the investment business, including his current focus on the open IPO, on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 12:30 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room.

The Dean’s Speaker Series event is free and open to the Haas community. Visit the Dean’s Speaker Series website to complete the required registration.

Hambrecht leads a lineup of influential business leaders who will participate in the Dean’s Speaker Series this spring. Upcoming speakers include :

  • Branding expert Gary Shansby, former CEO of the Shaklee Corp. and founder and current chair of Partida Tequila, Feb. 14.
  • Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, March 6
  • Colleen McCreary, chief people officer of Zynga, March 20
  • Professor Emeritus David Aaker, vice chairman of the strategic brand and marketing consultancy Prophet and author of 15 books, April 9

Hambrecht co-founded Hambrecht & Quist, an investment banking firm focused on emerging high-technology companies, in 1968. The firm, later bought by Chase Manhattan Bank, played a pivotal role in the technology revolution, underwriting IPOs for or investing in technology giants such as Apple, Genentech, Adobe, Netscape, and Amazon. 

After nearly 30 years at H&Q, Hambrecht founded WR Hambrecht + Co., a financial services firm that created the OpenIPO auction, an online process designed to level the playing field for both investors and issuers. The process, an alternative to the traditional Wall Street approach, achieved particular prominence when it was used by Google for its 2004 IPO.

One of the most influential leaders in the technology industry, Hambrecht received the award for Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Haas School's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship in 2001. He has served on the Haas Board and continues to serve on the Lester Center Advisory Board. He also has served on the boards of Motorola and AOL.  In 2012, he was appointed to the Presidio Trust Board by President Barack Obama, and in 2006 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.