Paul Tudor Jones Backs New GTS Venture for Private Stock Trades

Bloomberg, By Sonali Basak and Katie Roof, April 22, 2020

A quant trading firm with a big presence in stock listings is finding a way to link wealthy clients and large investors to new investments before they go public.

Electronic market maker GTS has started a digital trading venture called ClearList, with backing from hedge fund titan Paul Tudor Jones’s investment firm, according to a statement.

“We want to make private investing as easy as public investing, the private markets are bigger, by notional value,” GTS Chief Executive Officer Ari Rubenstein said in an interview. “We also have an enormous digital network of the largest family offices over the country and institutions that will be accessing these platforms.”

Initial public offerings have largely stalled during the coronavirus pandemic, while companies have for years been waiting longer to go public. Rubenstein cited Covid-19 as evidence of the need for greater liquidity in markets as firms and investors find it harder to sell shares. While there are also other ventures helping startups trade stock in limited amounts in private markets, pricing has tended to be opaque — and often set by the startups themselves.

“It’s going to give a transparent pre-IPO valuation to private companies,” Rubenstein said. Because investors will have a better understanding of a private firm’s price, it could help them determine a public market valuation more easily and help in an IPO process.

The move comes as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been seeking to open up unicorn firms — startups valued at more than $1 billion — to a greater array of investors. ClearList will focus on so-called accredited investors who have the ability to buy into riskier deals.

ClearList has signed up its first client, plant-breeding technology company Cibus Corp. In a statement, Point72 Asset Management’s Steve Cohen — who is trying to raise a new vehicle for private market wagers — endorsed ClearList as having an “innovative approach.”

Others working to provide more liquidity to private markets include Nasdaq Inc., which has a private markets venture. Also, startup Carta Inc. is seeking to raise $200 million in a new funding round as it aims to build a private stock market.

Risk Disclosures

Private Placement Disclosure:

ClearList warns that investments in private, unregistered securities involves a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative and should only be considered a long-term investment. Before deciding to invest, you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. You must be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities, including on the ClearList LLC Alternative Trading System. There is also no guarantee that any private placement will be publicly listed through a direct listing or Initial Public Offering. You should be aware that each investment also carries its own specific risks and that you should complete your own independent due diligence regarding the investment including obtaining additional information, opinions, financial projections, and legal or other investment advice.

Risk Related to Private Securities:

Investing in private, unregistered securities is not suitable for all investors.  Investing in private company securities generally involves greater risks than investing in publicly traded securities.     Investing in private company securities involves risk of loss that investors should be prepared to bear.  Private company securities may be more difficult to buy and sell.  Trading opportunities may be more limited for private company securities that are not widely held.  There may be greater liquidity risk and the possibility that a security cannot be sold at an ideal time.  If this happens, an investor account may be required to continue to hold the security and losses could be incurred. 

Private Securities, as well as any particular investment, may not be suitable for everyone. With respect to any investment or security traded on the ClearList ATS we urge you to carefully evaluate its appropriateness for your situation.  You are strongly encouraged to complete your own independent due diligence before investing in private, unregistered securities, including obtaining additional information, opinions, financial projections, and legal or other investment advice.  Private, unregistered securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a robust market will develop for such securities, including on the ClearList ATS.

No investment process is free of risk; no strategy or risk management technique can guarantee returns or eliminate risk in any market environment.  There is no guarantee that your investment processes will be profitable. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.  Any trading success enjoyed by others does not guarantee similar results for you. The value of investments, as well any investment income, is not guaranteed and can fluctuate based on market conditions.  Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss.

Affiliations – GTS Securities and/or GTS Execution Services may place orders on both sides of a market for private company securities traded on the ClearList ATS.  Both GTS Execution Services LLC and GTS Securities LLC are affiliates of ClearList LLC and ClearList Securities LLC through common ownership and all of these entities are registered broker-dealers.  Affiliates, officers, directors, and/or employees of ClearList LLC and/or ClearList Securities LLC may hold a position in the financial instruments of an issuer of private company securities wherein certain underwriting, private placement, or advisory services were performed and private securities of that issuer may be traded on the ClearList ATS.

Commissions/Transaction costs – Before you begin to trade, you should obtain details of all commissions and other charges for which you must be liable.

When products are purchased or sold, several types of incidental costs (including potential transaction fees and commissions) are incurred in addition to the current price of the security. These incidental costs may significantly reduce or even exclude the profit potential of the products.  In addition to such costs directly related to the purchase of products (direct costs), you must also take into account any follow-up costs (such as custody fees). You should inform yourself about any additional costs incurred in connection with the purchase, custody or sale of a private security before investing. 

Affiliate Disclosure

ClearList LLC, ClearList Securities LLC, and ClearList Technologies LLC are separate, but affiliated companies through common ownership.

ClearList LLC, is a Registered SEC Broker-Dealer and Member of FINRA & SIPC, which operates an Alternative Trading System (the ”ClearList ATS”).

ClearList Securities LLC, is a Registered SEC Broker-Dealer and Member of FINRA & SIPC, which has the ability to engage in the following business activities:

A. Private placement of securities;

B. Firm Commitment Underwriter;

C. Broker or dealer that offers or engages in on-line trading / electronic trading;

D. Broker or dealer selling tax shelters or limited partnerships in primary distributions;

E. Broker or dealer selling interests in unregistered private investment funds;

F. Broker selling corporate debt securities;

G. Broker retailing corporate equity securities over-the-counter;

H. Non-exchange member effecting transactions in listed securities through exchange member;

I. Broker selling tax shelters or limited partnerships in the secondary market;

J. Investment advisory services; and

K. Mergers and acquisitions including fairness opinions.

Check the background of the ClearList Broker-Dealers on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

ClearList Technologies LLC offers licensed software products and other authorized services, including Cap Table Management, to companies in the private securities marketplace.

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