VC-backed tech companies have a long history of going public on the Nasdaq, but more and more are beginning to choose the once-stodgy NYSE. Examples from the past month include Calix and Max Linear.
“For a long time the NYSE basically ignored Silicon Valley,” says Doug Chu, the fresh-faced head of the NYSE’s Silicon Valley office (and the rest of the Western half of the country). “Most tech companies weren’t even financially able to qualify. Today, that doesn’t fit in the business model.”
That Chu, 42, has the job he does is a telling indicator about how important tech has suddenly become to the NYSE. Before joining the company in 2008, Chu spent 12 years as a tech investment banker, including under Frank Quattrone at both Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Among the companies he helped take public were Amazon, Tumbleweed Communications and Beyond.com. A few years ago, he says, “[the NYSE] had zero tech bankers on its IPO team. They were all capital market folks.”