Caris & Company

  • Overview

Coast to coast

Research-oriented boutique Caris & Company was founded in 2002 by CEO Darren Caris, who got his start on Wall Street as a trader at Gruntal and Co., in fact, he rose to become one of the firm's top 10 producers after just two years on the job.  A graduate of the University of California at San Diego, Caris headed back west in 1996 to join Torrey Pine Securities in Del Mar, serving as vice president and building the firm's institutional sales and equity trading infrastructure.  His efforts launched Torrey Pine into the national spotlight as a market maker in West Coast tech securities like Dell, Intel, Cisco and Microsoft.

In 1999, Caris moved to San Diego to become a partner of the Granite Financial Group.  There he led the capital markets business and was responsible for overseeing the institutional sales, equity research, retail sales, equity trading, operations and compliance divisions.  Caris's eponymous firm was launched with the idea of bringing bulge bracket-caliber research and advisory services to Southern California, although these days Caris has four offices nationwide: firm headquarters in Del Mar, plus outposts in Boston, New York and San Francisco.  In true California style, CEO Caris spends his downtime surfing.

Research pros
Equity research is at the heart of Caris & Company's operations, with a focus on four industry sectors: consumer goods, health care, technology and energy.  The firm's research platform covers companies that make up more than seventy-five percent of the S&P 500, and the average market capitalization of its research companies is $4.5 billion.  Caris is careful to avoid conflicts of interest by drawing a bright line between its coverage and its advisory, claiming that "Caris & Company is a research boutique first."

The firm's institutional investors group serves portfolio managers and buy-side analysts, offering research sales, institutional sales trading and equity trading.  Peter Newman, a former Thomas Weisel Partners principal, heads Caris' institutional sales and trading division; the esteemed research division is directed by David S. Moskowitz, who joined in October 2008 after serving as group head of health care research at FBR Capital Markets.

Small bank, big on experience

In addition to its well-respected research products, Caris offers mergers and acquisitions advisory, corporate advisory, valuations, public equity capital raising, private equity and venture capital services.  Its advisory and capital services professionals cater to clients in the technology, biotechnology, health care, financial, specialty manufacturing and construction industries.

According to the firm, its investment bankers average over twenty years of experience, and it shows.  Over the years Caris has worked with such clients as Cardax Pharmaceuticals, Response Genetics, Nextest Systems Corporation, Omnicell Inc. and SGX Pharmaceuticals; among its most notable public equity transactions were Spansion's $567 million IPO, Esperion's $64 million follow-on offering and Corgentech's $110 million IPO.  And while Caris has retained its boutique size, perhaps making it an appealing target for acquisition, founder Darren Caris has yet to show any signs of selling.  As he told American Banker a few years after launching his firm, "We're too small, and we're too young to get swallowed up by a bigger commercial bank."

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Caris & Company


853 Camino Del Mar
Suite 100
Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: (858) 704-0300
Fax: (858) 704-0320
www.cariscompany.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman & CEO: Darren J. Caris
  • 2010 Employees: 65

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