Harry Edelson, CFA, CCP, CDP
Considered by many a legend in both the technology and financial industries, and the dean of venture capitalists on the East Coast, Harry has accomplished a great deal with limited resources. Throughout his career, Harry has been known for his energy and outsized results; partly due to the highly honed skills that Harry developed in mnemonics, speed-reading and speed math. Without a supporting team, Harry was named an All Star Security Analyst by Institutional Investor magazine and was the most quoted analyst on Wall Street for a decade. Harry left Wall Street when the CEOs of ten of the world’s largest multinational corporations (AT&T, Viacom, 3M, Ford Motor, Cincinnati Bell, Colgate-Palmolive, Reed Elsevier, Imation, Asea Brown Boveri and UPS) each in a different business, entrusted him with corporate rather than pension money to manage a series of four strategic venture capital funds. Two additional prominent limited partners were Harbourvest and Wellcome Trust which entered the partnerships through secondary purchases. Harry worked closely with the top management of his corporate partners providing strategic assistance, consulting advice and contacts. Other venture capital funds managing equal sums often had four times the personnel and expenses of the Edelson Technology Partner funds (ETP). By way of contrast, Harry, with a tight staff of only four, was able to voluntarily return to the limited partners 30% of management fees annually.
Harry’s career includes a long line of firsts. In the 1970’s he was the first wall street analyst to combine coverage of computers, software and telecommunications. At that time, there was not even one buy side telecommunications analyst. He conducted the first video conference call on Wall Street bringing together CEOs and investors. Because of his background as a computer engineer and telecommunications engineer, and his innovative research on the confluence of computers and telecommunications, Harry performed consulting assignments for more than 50 corporations. In the 80s, before hedge funds were popular, he started a hedge fund for CEOs of technology companies and had positive results in a severely down market.
His venture capital performance over a 20-year span was rated number one of all venture capital firms in the Eastern United States by two of the four leading auditing firms. The annual return (IRR) for his funds averaged 27%, even through disastrous stock market declines. The Edelson Technology Partner funds were the first venture capital investor in eleven early stage companies that grew to have market capitalizations of more than $1 billion and up to $140 billion. This was accomplished in part by Harry’s instigation and support of numerous M&A transactions. Harry has served on over 175 boards, 12 as chairman.
In 2007 Harry raised $40 million for a public Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) whose mandated goal was to merge with a Chinese company within two years. To complete the merger by a 2009 deadline, Harry traveled to China 13 times in 18 months. His travels to numerous provinces in China entailed visits to 50 companies involved in diverse industries. In 2009, against all odds, when 35 other SPACs failed to complete their mergers and had to dissolve, Harry successfully completed a merger.
- CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
- Awarded highest professional designations for computers and software
- CCP (Certified Computing Professional)
- CDP (Certified Data Professional)
- All Star Securities Analyst for information technology industry while covering 20% of the value of all U.S. stocks for three leading investment banking firms:
- Merrill Lynch, Drexel Burnham Lambert, CS First Boston
- First sell-side securities analyst to combine coverage of computers and telecommunications
- Founded Edelson Technology Partners (ETP) to serve the technology industry in venture capital, consulting and mergers and acquisitions
- Managed successful Hedge Fund in the early 1980s
- Consultant and advisor to more than 50 major corporations
- Created and managed a series of strategic venture capital funds for ten of the largest corporations in the world involved in ten different industries
- First venture capital investor in eleven early stage companies whose market capitalizations grew enormously to atleast $1 billion and to as high as $100 billion
- Organized and led the first video conference call in 1978
- In 1988 the Chinese Premier asked Harry to assist his son in finding employment with one of the limited partner companies. Later Harry helped the son with the admissions process to the MBA program at MIT.
- Helped propel the first internet company in China by being the first venture capital investor in China Internet Corporation in 1994
- Funds of Edelson Technology Partners were rated first in performance (27% IRR) by two of the big four accounting firms in 2005 compared to several hundred VC funds in the Eastern United States
- Featured speaker at dozens of financial and technology conferences in the U.S., Europe and Asia including Gaim, Super Return, Harvard University China Review, IBF Corporate Venture Capital, National Investment Banking Assn, American Electronics Assn, ADAPSO, CCIA, the UN, etc.
- CEO of publicly traded Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) which successfully merged with a Chinese company at a time in 2009 when almost all SPACs failed to complete a merger
- Served on 150 Boards of Directors, twelve as Chairman
- Host of ETP Biennial Technology and Financial Industry Lobster Bake since 1981 for as many as 400 guests including CEOs from around the world and major industry players, including George Soros, John Scully, Peter Norton, numerous celebrities, and ETP Limited Partners
- Authored numerous articles for technology, financial and corporate governance magazines. Featured columnist for technology and corporate governance magazines. Author of acclaimed book "Positivity How to be Happier, Healthier, Smarter, and more Prosperous."
- Recipient of 50th Anniversary Israel Award along with Dame Margaret Thatcher, Vice President Joseph Biden and Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
- Council member of The Juilliard School of Music Dance & Drama
- Founder and Chairman of the China Investment Group
- Founder and current member of the Chinese Cultural Foundation
- Past President of the Analyst Club, oldest surviving club on Wall Street, founded 1925
- Member of Advisory Council of The World Policy Institute
- Computer Engineer, UNISYS (UNIVAC)
- Transmission Engineer, AT&T
- B.S. Physics, Brooklyn College; MBA Management, New York University; Advanced Telecommunication Program, Cornell Graduate School of Electrical Engineering
- War veteran, U.S. Army Signal Corps