A tiny London firm run by two 30-somethings won a slice of Snap's IPO at the last minute

Snap Inc.
just raised a greater than expected $US3.4 billion in the largest US tech IPO in over two years.
Given that the typical IPO raises less than $US500 million, pulling off a sale of this size takes a lot of work. Naturally, Snap drafted some heavyweight banks with huge sales forces for the job.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs led the deal, along with a long list of banks including the likes of JPMorgan, Allen & Company and UBS.

But the list also includes a less familiar name: Connaught (UK) Limited.

Connaught, a small London firm set up in 2014, wasn’t named in Snap’s first IPO filing in early February. But it did appear in Snap’s updated filing just a few days ago. It is listed as having sold 307,692 shares, worth around $US5.2 million at the IPO price of $US17.

There’s not a lot of information out there about Connaught. It has a basic website with a mailing address and email address. It was incorporated December 29, 2014, and has three directors: Ian Osborne, Alex Usher-Smith, and Dr. Marcel Silvester Reichart.

Osborne and Usher-Smith, aged 33 and 35, both specialize in advising tech, media, and internet companies. Osborne set up Osborne & Partners, an international strategic advisory firm which once hosted a Davos party with tech-billionaire Sean Parker and Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff.

Usher-Smith is a former Lazard and Greenhill banker.

The third director at the firm is Dr. Marcel Reichart, the executive vice president of digital development and partnerships as German media company Bertelsmann, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The role on the Snap IPO is a huge coup for the firm, which has less than 10 staff, according to its LinkedIn profile. Connaught is not a US registered broker-dealer, and so any shares it sold in the US had to pass through Global Alliance Securities.

Osborne and Usher-Smith did not return messages seeking comment in time for publication.

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