William Blair launches private shares trading practice

Anthony Frascotti returns to Blair after nearly five years to lead the new team.

William Blair, a Chicago-based financial services firm, has initiated a new private shares trading practice. It will be led by Anthony Frascotti, newly brought on board in the firm’s Boston office.

Frascotti comes to Blair from Forge, where he worked for more than a year as senior director, and where he headed capital markets for seven months ending in November 2022.

Managing directors Matt Giunta and Julian Gendels will work with Frascotti, and the new team will coordinate with the global institutional equity trading team to execute direct secondaries transactions for venture-backed companies.

Private shares trading is an expansion of Blair’s institutional sales and trading offerings. The goal, according to a statement from the company, is to deliver to “buyers and sellers of private capital the highest level of transactional focus, informational access, and private market insights.”

Before he began at Forge in August 2021, Frascotti was senior director at SharesPost. He has more than five years of experience in the buying and selling of private shares in late-stage venture-backed companies.

His arrival at William Blair is also a return: Frascotti worked there from the summer of 2015 to the spring of 2018 in institutional sales and trading, according to his LinkedIn page.

Giunta, like Frascotti, joins from Forge’s private securities group, where he was a director for a year, then a senior director for four months ending in November 2022.

Scott McLaughlin, William Blair’s head of equities, said: “Collectively, Tony, Julian and Matt have executed transactions in hundreds of venture-backed companies and bring a level of expertise in the private market that will be accretive and synergistic with our existing research sales, sales trading and equity capital markets capabilities.”