How a tiny investment bank landed a role on Snap’s giant IPO

business-insider-mischler-ipo-investment-bank(Business Insider) Feb 23, 2017–Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat, is hoping to raise about $3 billion in its initial public offering.

The offering is being compared to the likes of other big tech IPO deals such as Alibaba, Facebook, and Twitter. And it could be one of the biggest in 2017.

The list of underwriters for the initial public offering includes a number of prominent Wall Street firms including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan. There are also a few lesser-known firms on the list. One such firm is the Newport Beach, California-based Mischler Financial Group. The boutique investment bank was founded in 1994 and is owned and operated by disabled veterans.

Business Insider spoke with Ryan Moran, a director in equity sales and trading at Mischler, to get the story behind their role in the deal.

“We were involved as an underwriter in the Alibaba IPO in 2014,” Moran said. “There were some execs at other investment banks involved in Alibaba who joined the team at Snap who recommended us for the upcoming initial public offering.”

Moran declined to name the executives in question, but Snap’s chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, is a former Credit Suisse banker who worked on the IPO of Alibaba before joining the social media company.

“They knew that we were well buttoned up,” Moran said.

Moran said that his firm’s value proposition is in their distribution. He said Mischler plays a complementary role to the “balance sheet banks,” mainly because they are well-positioned to serve underserved middle markets.

“These investors are extremely loyal to our firm and act in partnership with us,” he said. “They are the middle market accounts, the accounts that don’t fall under the radar of a larger bank.”