A recent Stanford University Closer Look Series article examined the rise of stock option financing in pre-IPO companies as more companies stay private longer and employees are compensated in valuable stock options. Reading this detailed review of an industry that has grown exponentially from an idea I had many years ago was energizing and validating. 

As an entrepreneur dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs, I have at many times throughout my career faced moments of intense uncertainty or complete certainty. But it’s these moments, when you are able to so clearly draw the line from a single vision to the growth of an entire industry – that reminds you why you became an entrepreneur to begin with.

Many years ago, as an advisor to the entrepreneurial community, I realized that enterprising start-up professionals face a particular plight that had no easy solution. Many private companies  offer stock options as compensation – offering people the opportunity to benefit from a large payout in the future. But as start-ups stay private for longer, employees have wealth on paper but not the liquidity they need for major expenses or investments, such as exercising their stock options or buying their first home. 

I realized that people needed a way to unlock the value in their private company shares.

That’s why In 2000, I started Option Management. At the time, I was in wealth management, advising leading tech entrepreneurs on these very issues, starting to solve for the issue of liquidity nearly ten years before the industry truly started to grow. I helped found VSL in 2014 (now Section Partners) and more recently founded Liquid Stock, leading the way in creating financial freedom for entrepreneurs. I’m excited to see how this industry continues to grow with new entrants as collectively, we’ll raise awareness around the fact that entrepreneurs do have a choice when it comes to their options. 

While I may have created the blueprint, it is the manifestation of my designs that will grow the overall marketplace in a way that I truly believe will benefit everyone – from companies to their employees and beyond.

All the best,

Robert Pitti
Founding Partner, Liquid Stock