The business school of the University of California at Berkeley honored the investment banker whose firm helped launch Apple Computer with a lifetime achievement award.
The Haas School of Business announced Monday that William Hambrecht is the 2001 recipient of the Lester Center Lifetime Achievement Award for his innovations and contributions to the world of business.
Hambrecht is the co-founder of the firm Hambrecht & Quist, famous for managing the initial public offerings of Genentech, and People Express, in addition to Apple, in 1981.
By 1997, the firm had worked with over 700 companies, including Adobe Systems, Convergent Technologies, Sybase, and Apollo Computer.
Among the companies was Boston Beer, maker of Samuel Adams Boston, the company that helped him dream out his most recent venture.
Boston Beer's CEO, Jim Koch, insisted that 25 percent of the IPO shares be taken away from institutional investors and geared toward individual customers.
The results were that in 1996, the $10 million IPO was oversubscribed by $30 million, as a result of the beer drinkers.
That experience has led to the creation of Hambrecht's new firm, WR Hambrecht & Co., which uses the Internet to create a system that let all investors – acting either institutionally or individually – bid for IPO stocks.
The OpenIPO, as the system is called, is built around a Dutch auction model, which allows the investors – not investment banks – set the price.
“With his new OpenIPO concept, (Hambrecht) has once again changed the rules of the game, creating an innovative and distinctive offering for his new firm,” said Jerome Engel, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation,
Most recently, his company has led the internet initial stock offering of Peet's Coffee and Tea.