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The Facebook website is displayed on a laptop computer. The company's $16-billion IPO was led by a California kid who grew up anything but rich.
Talk about a local boy done good! Facebook will begin trading shares tomorrow. The IPO values the company at $104 b-b-billion, which is a mere $4 billion more than many were expecting. The lead underwriter on the deal, Morgan Stanley, has now led most of the big tech IPOs of the past year or so and stands to make around $40 million on the deal. Which doesn't sound like much. But still...
(Think of the lead underwriter as a sort of head financial guide, making it possible for a company to transition from a private to a public existence.)
And whom do we have to thank for all this banking magic? None other than L.A.'s own Michael Grimes. This is from a DealBook profile of Grimes, 46, which appeared a few days back:
From an early age, Mr. Grimes seemed headed for a career in technology. Growing up in East Los Angeles in a modest two-bedroom house with his sister and parents, Mr. Grimes attended the Polytechnic School, a prestigious prep school in Pasadena, Calif. His father, David Grimes, the owner of a mapping and land-surveying business, worked Saturdays to afford his son’s $5,000-a-year tuition.
At the age of 12, Mr. Grimes asked his father for the latest Apple computer, a $2,500 machine that many of his wealthier friends owned. His father made a deal with him. He would buy the machine if his son converted some computer programs his father had developed into Apple’s programming language.
“He did it in one summer,” said David Grimes. “I guess I pushed him in that direction.”
Michael Grimes, as the NYT suggests, is now making $7-12 million a year. He's probably going to get a few special millions this year for his Facebook work. From his life story, it sounds like he deserves it.