(originally published in ThinkAdvisor)
by Jeff Berman
July 21, 2021
What You Need to Know
- Fidelity is partnering with Shoobx, a capitalization table management provider.
- The announcement comes as a growing number of firms are going public after a record number of IPOs in 2020.
- The solution’s capabilities can be adjusted to suit an organization’s specific needs across its lifecycle.
Fidelity Investment signed a deal with Shoobx, a capitalization table management provider, to provide an equity management solution for private companies at all growth stages, including firms preparing to file initial public offerings.
This is the first time that Fidelity has teamed with Shoobx and, “prior to this agreement we did not have any solutions for private companies that were preparing to go public,” a Fidelity spokesperson said Wednesday. “We thought our products and services were a great complement to their tools and technologies, so the combined solution would be a great option for companies in this space.”
A record number of almost 500 companies went public in 2020, and experts expect that momentum to continue through 2021, the companies said in a joint announcement, citing recent industry research.
But, as businesses evolve beyond the startup phase, the administration of important business processes can become increasingly complex, according to Fidelity and Shoobx.
To avoid mistakes that could harm their businesses, many companies implement new business solutions at each stage of their growth, which could result in multiple changes to key management systems and require significant time and resources, according to Fidelity and Shoobx.
Their new solution, available now, was designed to address those business challenges and combines some of the top products and services from the two firms, including Fidelity’s expertise in equity compensation and benefits administration, along with Shoobx’s holistic equity management capabilities, board management tools and data room solutions for the secure storage and sharing of important business information, they said.
The new solution “fills a critical gap for entrepreneurs by providing a flexible solution that grows with the company and eliminates the need to implement new platforms as a company expands,” according to Mark Haggerty, head of Stock Plan Services at Fidelity Investments.
The solution’s “seamless” set of systems and capabilities are “flexible and can be designed to suit an organization’s specific needs across the company lifecycle, which includes company formation, capitalization table management, fundraising due diligence and execution, board and stockholder approvals and HR onboarding tools, which are all integrated with secure electronic signature and document storage features,” the firms said.
The solution also provides organizations with equity compensation administration and support, as well as integration with key employee benefits including 401(k)s, health savings accounts, access to financial planning and brokerage capabilities for all their shareholders, they said.
Additional product details and technical information can be found at Fidelity’s website.