Here's How JP Morgan Beat Goldman Sachs To The Second Underwriting Spot On The Facebook IPO

Facebook Lloyd Blankfein Jamie Dimon Mark Zuckerberg

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Facebook’s S1 filing yesterday revealed what many had anticipated on Wall Street—that Morgan Stanley had won the coveted “lead left” spot on the papers indicating they would be leading the IPO.But what shocked many was who took the next, middle, spot—not Goldman Sachs, but rather JP Morgan. Goldman was third in an order that denoted the importance of the firm’s underwriting role and also the amount of fees that a bank may reap. The news was first reported by DealBook Tuesday night.

Today, a Reuters piece offers more backstory—highlighting a long schoomzing-filled courtship between the top executives at JP Morgan and Facebook and a network of beneficial connections.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Vice-Chairman James Lee, among other senior executives, have been cultivating a relationship with Facebook executives over the course of the past year, Reuters reported. Dimon visited Facebook’s old Palo Alto headquarters as recently as last December.

In addition, Lee has also been acquaintances with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg for years, which allowed him to learn more about the company’s culture. In Facebook’s earlier days, JP Morgan also helped the company finance the building of a data centre.

Goldman’s flub of a private offering of $1.5 billion of Facebook stock last year may also have worked in JP Morgan’s favour.

The title of #2 could certainly boost JP Morgan’s reputation in the flourishing technology IPO field. Currently, the firm ranks behind Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs on U.S. tech IPOs, according to Reuters. 

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