PALO ALTO, Calif. — Sam Odio expected a few congratulatory e-mails when he sold Divvyshot, his online photo-sharing service, to Facebook last April for millions of dollars.
Instead, his in-box was flooded with pitches from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanleyand other Wall Street firms looking to manage his newfound wealth. Goldman has the inside track, having courted him with an exclusive factory tour of Tesla, the electric sports-car maker, and tickets to a screening of the final Harry Potter film.
“They sure know the way to a geek’s heart,” said Mr. Odio, 27.
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Wall Street, as always, is going where the money is — and right now that is Silicon Valley. The latest Internet boom means there are more newly minted millionaires, and even billionaires, than at any time since the technology bubble a decade ago.
Many are brilliant young entrepreneurs and computer engineers. But for all their knowledge, the technology executives, many of whom are fresh out of college, are relatively clueless when it comes to estate planning.
“Betting the ranch on building a widget for the Facebook platform is very different than managing a long-term nest egg,” said Jay Backstrand, a vice president atJPMorgan Chase’s private bank.
Wall Street is more than happy to help — for a fee. Banks charge roughly 1 percent for overseeing a wealthy investor’s portfolio. Though that may not sound like a lot, it adds up when billions of dollars are involved.
Financial firms are salivating over the wealth being created. Facebook is readying an initial public offering that will most likely value it near $100 billion. Employees and directors at Zynga own more than a third of the online game company, which went public in December at $7 billion. The list of prospects is long: Groupon is worth $12.2 billion; LinkedIn, $6.8 billion; and Pandora, $1.9 billion.