NASD President Goes to Hambrecht & Quist

Times Staff Writer

The president of the National Assn. of Securities Dealers has resigned to become chairman of Hambrecht & Quist, a San Francisco-based investment banking firm.

Gordon S. Macklin, 59, had been president of NASD, which manages the over-the-counter market, for 17 years. He resigned his post on Monday, and the announcement of his new position at H&Q; was made Tuesday in New York.

Macklin also will serve as co-chief executive of H&Q; with William Hambrecht, 51, a co-founder and president of the firm.

Current H&Q; Chairman Q. T. Wiles will return to his former role as vice chairman and a director of the firm. Unlike Wiles, who as chairman did not participate in the company's day-to-day operations, Macklin will involve himself, according to William Timken, executive vice president of H&Q.;

Macklin brings to the company much-needed management skills. Hambrecht has been the company's No. 1 deal maker since its formation in 1968. Co-founder George Quist, who died in 1982, had been known as the consummate inside man, and the company has drifted in and out of a management crisis since his death, observers have noted.

That is not to say, however, that the duties of Hambrecht and Macklin will be strictly divided along outside/inside lines, Timken said. In fact, he said, having the two men share the chief executive's title reflects the company's return to a "partnership-like" approach that marked the company's beginnings.

Timken said the company is past its management crises and that the turmoil in the top management ranks has calmed. Much of that turmoil had been attributed to the tenure of Thomas S. Volpe as president of Hambrecht & Quist Inc., the investment banking and broker-dealer arm of the parent, Hambrecht & Quist Group. Volpe and Hambrecht often were at odds over the company's style and direction, and the conflicts proved costly to the ranks of middle management. Volpe left H&Q; in April, 1986, and Hambrecht stepped in to fill his duties and also guide the firm back to its more collegial roots.

Also, company observers now believe that H&Q; has begun profiting from hard-learned lessons in the initial public offerings market.

As the investment banker that handled the initial outings into the stock market of early technology successes, including Apple Computer and Genentech, Hambrecht & Quist soon became known as the West Coast's leading high-tech investment banker. But a series of overvalued initial public offerings made just as the technology market was cooling down left the company wallowing in soured projects and with a tarnished reputation.

This past year, however, H&Q; has made a strong showing in initial public offerings, improving its record as a lead manager and seeing solid growth of companies it led into the market.

Still, outside observers and money managers have fretted over the seeming lack of strong internal management. Hambrecht said in a statement Tuesday that Macklin will answer those concerns.

"Gordon Macklin is one of the most widely respected executives in the securities industry today," Hambrecht said. "In his 17 years with the NASD, he helped introduce many innovations, including the automated quotation systems (NASDAQ) that brought order to the over-the-counter market.

"It is largely due to his leadership that the NASD is now the third-largest trading market in the world," he added.

Macklin will assume his new duties by July.

Wiles is known as the company's turnaround specialist and has served as chairman of several companies in which H&Q;'s venture capital arm is heavily invested, including, most recently, Culver City-based Rexon.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World