You are right at the heart of the IP transactions market – how has this space developed over the course of your career?
The market has evolved greatly over the past 15 years. With the recent influx of capital and insurance providers it is becoming more dynamic, while a long list of investors and intermediaries are playing a crucial role in shepherding deals. With this in mind, having a high-level ability to underwrite transactions is becoming increasingly important.
What are some common themes of IP investors seeking capital for a monetisation event?
IP investors care about downside protection. While an exciting equity upside story may be attractive, what matters most is tight credit analysis to understand what can happen when deals do not go as planned.
What is shaping the IP market currently and what do you anticipate being market drivers over the next two years?
The market has needed secondary investors to increase their efficiency for a long time now. This is becoming more important in terms of risk sharing with insurance, expansion of available credit and the natural ebbing of enforcement financing. The more risk mitigation that is available, the stronger the market will become, as long as underwriting baselines do not erode. Deals will continue to fail, but this does not mean that the market is headed for disaster. It just means that it will adapt to become more efficient at weeding out less productive opportunities.
What is your proudest professional achievement to date?
The IP team at Ocean Tomo, a part of J.S. Held, has built a robust reputation for our IP underwriting capabilities. We have leveraged our knowledge, expanding from our teardown laboratory to courtroom damages calculations and into transactions assessments. We have also honed our ability to conduct IP transactions by developing an extensive network of corporate clients, financial professionals, government officials and many others.
How are new entrants into the IP market changing the balance of power in an ever-evolving industry?
There has been a lot of discussion about insurance and its impact on the market, which will certainly come to fruition as the industry enters its next phase. Over the next five years, additional changes will come from growing global economies seeking to become technology hubs and investing large sums into the expansion of technology to realise this goal. This capital will undoubtedly make its way into the development pipeline of strong IP companies over the next decade.
Ryan Zurek leads the advisory practice of Ocean Tomo, a part of J.S. Held, which is composed of an IP transaction advisory, investments and non-securities investment banking. He plays an integral role in the firm’s investment banking, asset management and financing initiatives. Mr Zurek’s experience spans IP valuation, licensing strategy, market research and cash flow analysis. He holds the FINRA Series 7 and 63 licence.