Merchant Banking International was founded in Denver in 1985 and incorporated as a Colorado corporation. MBI began as a specialist boutique concentrating on the Inter-Mountain West, providing the local links lacking by extra-regional financial institutions, providing a pool of capital to lead each investment project, providing highly personalized service to clientele and their professional resources, and providing greater capital access for regional clientele.
At the end of 1986, Merchant Banking International entered into a purchase agreement to acquire the British Merchant Banking Charter and the stock of David Sassoon & Co., Ltd., founded in 1861. Sassoon’s was internationally renowned as the ‘Rothschilds of the East’ and the Sassoon family was one of the wealthiest families in the world, with a merchant empire spanning the continent of Asia. MBI raised $10 million for the acquisition, but terminated the project after finding significant irregularities and problems.
Our experiences with the Sassoons project inspired us to expand our activities. By applying our own advanced strategic planning and multiple scenarios analysis to our own organization, we began gearing up to take advantage of our unique positioning strategies and high level access, and leveraging these strengths into an enhanced dealflow. We successfully expanded our merchant banking activities in the 1990s, with such notable client organizations as British Aerospace, and establishing regional offices in London and Washington DC. We also began a variety of innovation research projects, including how to leverage our extensive experience in intellectual property assistance and development. In the early 2000s, MBI began a multi-year investigation into the shortcomings of the market and regulatory environments for intellectual property, with goals including identifying intellectual property market inefficiencies and investment opportunities that can be capitalized through the creation of fundamental, new innovative structures. The project grew to encompass all the possible financing systems for intellectual property, and the rise of so-called ‘patent trolls’ and the growth of the associated patent litigation industry and ‘non-practicing entities’ that do not commercialize or develop patents.
New ideas and innovations over the millennia have profoundly transformed society at all levels. For thousands of years, every new idea was created by either a single individual or a very small group of individuals. Beginning primarily with the industrial revolution, organizational structures were created, such as scientific research and development. The current environment, with its many restrictions, has created major gaps in the innovation market. Independent innovators lack the resources to fully develop and commercialize their ideas, often creating fragile, under-capitalized, under-managed companies and subsequent failure.
We are pioneering new advanced-innovations investing systems, including an entirely new platform, transforming intellectual property into what we call “Monetized Intellectual Capital©”. The design of the new platform includes a series of new funds that will develop and capitalize intellectual property in multiple industries in multiple sectors. We are currently finalizing our Intellectual Capital Fund I, with which we anticipate strong returns by converting intellectual property investments to performing intellectual capital.
To meet our clients’ challenges in today’s very dynamic world and to leverage our proprietary intellectual capital, we are expanding our Advisory Services group, and our MBI Funds group, and are currently hiring highly qualified and experienced new team members in both groups. We have designed our team expansion to offer strong upward mobility to our new hires coupled with typically above-market compensation. We expect our new hires to fill key positions over the next 2-3 years, including the positions of Managing Director and President, Managing Director overseeing all Funds, and Managing Director overseeing all client services activities.