About WR Hambrecht + Co

We founded WR Hambrecht + Co in January 1998 to level the playing field for investors and our corporate clients. Based on our experience taking companies public, we knew that there had to be a better way to do initial public offerings.

We had three objectives:

  • find an efficient way to determine the true market demand for the shares
  • be able to allocate the shares to investors who really want to own the stock
  • treat all investors, including individuals, equally

Our OpenIPO® and our other auction products accomplish all three objectives and allow offerings to be priced and allocated transparently and fairly. Issuers are able to see every bid, and every investor knows that his bid is treated equally.

Our Products

Founded in 1998 by Bill Hambrecht, WR Hambrecht + Co is a financial services firm committed to using technology and auction processes to provide open and fair access to financial markets for all its clients. The firm’s impartial auctions have dramatically changed the traditional investment banking landscape by allowing the market to determine pricing and allocations.

The OpenIPO® auction, for example, levels the playing field in initial public offerings, allowing individuals and institutional investors to bid online for shares of an IPO. All investors end up paying the same price – a price determined by the auction.

The OpenBook® auction for corporate bonds, is an online system that offers transparent, real-time price discovery.

OpenFollowOn® auction extends the transparency and real-time price discovery of the OpenBook auction to follow-on equity offerings allowing interactive bidding and gives investors a view into the book as it builds.

WR Hambrecht + Co continues to identify markets where auctions will benefit investors and issuers. We provide underwriting and advisory services for technology and emerging growth companies.

WR Hambrecht + Co is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York.

Leadership Team

Bill Hambrecht

William R. Hambrecht

Founder and Chairman

In 1968, Bill co-founded Hambrecht & Quist, an investment banking firm specializing in emerging high-growth technology companies. He founded WR Hambrecht + Co in 1998, introducing OpenIPO® as a means to level the playing field for both investors and issuers. Bill has served as a director for numerous private and public companies. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Presidio Trust in San Francisco. In October, 2006, Bill was inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Bill graduated from Princeton University.

Elizabeth Hambrecht


Prior to joining WRH+Co, Elizabeth was CEO at Salon Media Group, which operates the popular Salon.com website. Before Salon, Elizabeth was a co-founder of Asiacontent.com, a pioneer in Asia’s Internet industry, and helped fund and launch Boom.com, Hong Kong’s first electronic brokerage. Prior to Boom.com, Elizabeth was an equities analyst covering emerging markets at Goldman Sachs (Hong Kong) and before that at Baring Securities. Elizabeth has served as a director of Salon Media Group, and as a Trustee of the San Francisco Friends School, the Asian Art Museum of SF and Northern California Public Broadcast (NCPB). She graduated with a B.A. degree from Vassar College and studied Mandarin at the Taipei Language Institute.

John Hullar

Managing Partner

Prior to joining WRH+Co, John spent 11 years at Wells Fargo Securities, serving as President and CEO, and, most recently as Managing Director, Western Region. Before joining Wells Fargo Securities, John was Director of Worldwide Sales at Hambrecht & Quist, where he oversaw all aspects of U.S. and International Institutional Sales and Accounts, Executive Financial Services and Venture Services Sales. He was also a member of the Operating Committee, Brokerage Committee, and Equity Commitment Committee. Prior to joining Hambrecht & Quist, John was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley where he held leadership positions in Institutional Equities in New York, Tokyo, and London. John holds a B.A. from Yale University. He was a member of the Yale University Development Board; a Trustee and Chair of Finance at The Hamlin School and The Branson School; and a Trustee of The First Tee Chapter of San Francisco.

Matt Therian


Matt joined WRH+Co after graduating from the Berkeley-Haas MBA program in 2013. Prior to Haas, Matt spent three years as a Research Analyst at Greenwich, CT-based Renaissance Capital, which provides independent fundamental research on initial public offerings and related investment management services. Earlier, he was a Senior Analyst at Boston-area market research firm Chatham Partners. He holds an A.B from Dartmouth College. Matt is a Chartered Financial Analyst candidate.

Thomas Thurston

Thomas is Chief Investment Officer and a Director at Ironstone Group Inc., which uses algorithms to identify and fund disruptive businesses. He’s also CEO and Founder of Growth Science, a data science think-tank, and was Managing Partner at Rottura Capital, an algorithm-based long-short hedge fund. Thomas is renowned for building high-accuracy algorithms to predict commercial outcomes. Formerly at Intel Capital, he was a Fellow at the Harvard Business School where he collaborated with Professor Clayton Christensen on predictive models for disruptive innovation. Earlier in his career Thomas helped found a high performance computing business that was later acquired and in addition to his fellowship at Harvard he holds a BA, MBA and Juris Doctor.

David Price

David is CTO of Growth Science where he leads the development of R&D, algorithms, and technology for the modeling and prediction of business survival and failure. Prior to Growth Science, David was CEO and Founder of Black Tonic, a SaaS platform for real-time communication and collaboration. He also co-founded an interactive software consultancy that designed and developed decision making software for startups and Fortune 100 firms alike. He’s been an engineer at Covidien and Boeing, with experience spanning high-tech, consumer goods, medical devices and aerospace. A Boettcher Scholar, he holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a Biomedical emphasis from the University of Colorado and studied philosophy as a graduate student at the University of Oxford.