Richards will help expand Merriman's investment banking services, general corporate financing activity and M&A advisory services by building a strategic business advisory practice for the firm. In this role, he will provide turnaround, restructuring and general capital markets advice, primarily to public companies under $250 million in market capitalization.
Richards brings more than 23 years of experience working with public and private companies on financial and market strategies in the areas of investment banking, law and accounting. He joins Merriman from Gray Wolf Partners, a management consulting firm where he served as Founder and Managing Director and advised companies on financial and market strategies.
"Ron and I had a very successful partnership at Wells Fargo Van Kasper and I'm excited to team up with him again. His experience, breadth of contacts and ability to originate business will be a significant asset," said Jon Merriman, CEO of Merriman Holdings. "Ron's group will add significant value to new and existing corporate clients, deepen our banking pipeline and further differentiate us as a premier advisory firm for fast-growing, small capitalization companies."
Prior to Gray Wolf Partners, Richards served as Managing Director of Viking Asset Management. His responsibilities included working with portfolio companies to enhance their value, and conducting due diligence and structuring potential investment opportunities for Viking's Longview Funds.
Currently, Richards is Chairman of the Board of Optex Systems Holdings, Inc. and also a member of the Board of Directors of EGCell Scientific, Inc. He has extensive operational and management experience, including positions as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Business Development, of Biopure Corporation, a publicly traded life sciences company.
Richards previously served as the Managing Director of Corporate Finance at Wells Fargo Van Kasper. There he led a cross-functional investment banking and research team focused on technology, including optical networking and related broadband infrastructure. Richards planned and executed numerous public equity offerings, M&A transactions and other financial advisory assignments. He formed a structured finance group focused on PIPEs, and identified, structured and executed numerous PIPE transactions as the firm's expert in this area. Richards co-authored the text PIPES: The CEO's Guide to Successful Private Investments in Public Equities.
Richards holds a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA. He received his B.A. in economics and business from UCLA. Richards is a member of the State Bar of California and a retired Certified Public Accountant.