Harry Edelson, CFA, CCP, CDP
Harry Edelson is the Managing Director of all of the ETP funds. He is highly respected in both the technology and financial industries and is one of the most prominent and successful venture capitalists on the East Coast. Throughout his career, Harry has been known for his energy and outsized results partly due to his unique background combining technology and Wall Street analyst experiences. Harry was named an All Star Security Analyst by Institutional Investor magazine and was among the most quoted analysts on Wall Street. 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 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 executive 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 voluntarily returned to the limited partners over 25% of management fees annually.
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 the disastrous stock market decline of 2000-2002. The Edelson Technology Partner funds were the first venture capital investor in ten early stage companies that grew to have market capitalizations of more than $1 billion and up to $80 billion. This was accomplished in part by Harry’s instigation and support of numerous M&A transactions. Harry has served on 140 boards, 12 as chairman.
Harry’s career includes a long line of firsts. 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. Before hedge funds were popular, he started a hedge fund for CEOs of technology companies and had positive results in a severely down market.
In March 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 the deadline in 2009, 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, when many SPACs failed to complete their mergers and had to dissolve, Harry successfully completed the mandated merger.
Harry continues to average a speech a month on subjects including technology, finance, venture capital, China, and philanthropy. Recent speeches include two at the United Nations, Family Office Conference, Life Sciences Summit, Disruptive Technology, New York University, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell University, Pace University and the Harvard Club.
Harry’s qualifications, experience and awards are summarized below:
- 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 covering 20% of 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
- 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 ten early stage companies whose market capitalization grew enormously to over $1 billion and to as high as $80 billion
- Organized and led the first video conference
- Premier Zhao Ziyang of China asked Harry to assist his son in finding employment with one of the limited partner companies. This was done and later Harry helped the son to be admitted to the MBA program at MIT
- Helped start the internet industry in China by being the first venture capital investor in China Internet Corporation in 1990s
- Two of the “Big Four” accounting firms rated the funds of Edelson Technology Partners first in performance (27% IRR) 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, 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 140 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, George Soros, John Scully, Peter Norton, numerous celebrities including the Governor of Maine, and ETP Limited Partners
- Authored numerous articles for technology, financial and corporate governance magazines. Featured columnist for technology and corporate governance magazines
- 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 for a dozen years. Former Board of Trustees of Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
- Founder and current President of the China Investment Group, LLC
- Founder and current member of the Chinese Cultural Foundation
- Past President and current member of the Analyst Club, oldest surviving club on Wall Street
- Participated in the birth of the internet as head of marketing and sales of the two leading data terminal companies serving Darpanet, progenitor of the internet
- Computer Engineer, UNISYS
- 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