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How One Broker Hypes Facebook Pre-IPO: Greenberg
CNBC.com | January 31, 2012 | 06:08 PM EST

Companies can’t hype IPOs before they happen. Neither can the underwriters.

Then there is Felix Investments, a small New York investment firm.

You’ve probably never heard of Felix, but it has carved out quite a name for itself in the burgeoning market for private shares in companies likely to go public.

In a nutshell, the four-year old firm says it buys shares from ex-employees in pre-IPO private companies like Facebook, Twitter and Groupon . Then it packages them into private investment funds. The idea is to cash out when there is a “liquidity event”—either an IPO or sale.

The very nature of pre-IPO transactions is curious, but It’s the aggressive nature of its emails to prospective clients that Felix and its partner, Frank Mazzola, promote those funds that caught my attention.

For more than a year, in emails sent to anywhere from 10 to 100 people, according to the company, Felix actively promotes, sometimes with a sense of urgency.

Never mind that financials for these private companies like Facebook and Twitter haven’t been filed or that Mazzola says the emails only go to people it believes are “accredited” and “qualified.”

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