MATH Briefing - Capital Access: New Tools for Start-ups and Small Businesses

June 25, 2013

MATH (Markets And The Hill) Briefing Series
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
By invitation only



Since the financial crisis, businesses and individuals have increasingly struggled to access capital. Credit is tight, and traditional early-stage equity investors have become more risk-averse. Entrepreneurs are using credit cards, home equity loans or personal/family savings to finance their businesses.

The 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) attempts to increase capital access by unlocking the power of the Internet and modern forms of media to foster efficient capital formation. This briefing will identify these new capital raising tools, explore innovative approaches to public securities crowdfunding and the use of private capital markets, and address key policy implications of Titles II and III of the JOBS Act.


Chris Brummer is a senior fellow at the Milken Institute's Center for Financial Markets and a professor of law at Georgetown University. An expert in international financial regulation, he lectures widely on securities and banking supervision. Brummer has taught at the University of Basel, the University of Heidelberg and the London School of Economics. Before becoming a professor, he practiced law in the New York and London offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. His research has appeared in many of the country's most prestigious journals, and in 2013, he was appointed to a three-year term on FINRA's National Adjudicatory Council. Brummer holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a Ph.D. in Germanic studies from the University of Chicago.

Daniel Gorfine is director of financial markets policy and legal counsel in the Washington office of the Milken Institute. He focuses on entrepreneurship, capital access and financial market issues. Before joining the Institute, Gorfine worked in the international and litigation practice groups at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP. Prior to this, he served a clerkship with U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake in the District of Maryland. Gorfine is also professional faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business. He recently co-authored the op-ed "Who Needs Wall Street" in the Wall Street Journal and "Crowdfunding: the Next Big Thing" in the Milken Institute Review, and appeared on Fox Business to discuss the JOBS Act and private capital markets. Gorfine graduated with a B.A. from Brown University, a J.D. from George Washington University Law School and an M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.

Benjamin Miller is the co-founder of Fundrise, an online investment platform for local real estate, and its affiliate Popularise, a real estate crowdsourcing website. Miller helped create both companies to transform traditional commercial development by giving community members the power to participate and invest in local real estate. In addition, he is the managing partner of WestMill Capital Partners, a real estate development company focused on the Mid-Atlantic region. Formerly, Miller was president of Western Development Corp., the largest retail developer in Washington, D.C., and co-founder of US Nordic Ventures, a transatlantic venture capital company. He has worked as an analyst for private equity real estate fund Lubert-Adler and was part of the founding staff of Democracy Alliance, a progressive investment collaborative. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he sits on the boards of the non-profits Tumml and the National Center for Children and Families.

Peter Williams is president and CEO of ACE Group Inc., a company focused on bringing market efficiency, access, transparency and integrity to the $1 trillion-a-year new-issue U.S. private-placement marketplace. ACE connects qualified investors with private investment opportunities marketed by investment banks and other private placement agents. Williams is also a director of Legumex Walker Inc., one of Canada's largest processors and merchandisers of pulses, specialty crops and canola products. Williams created Legumex through a three-way merger and a $75 million IPO. Previously, he had a successful career in investment banking with DLJ/Credit Suisse and CIBC/Oppenheimer, where he was involved in transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $15 billion for a diverse group of companies. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Queen's University and an M.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

For more information, please contact: Dianna Dunne, Director of Government Affairs, Milken Institute at