Tombstone (financial industry)
A tombstone is a type of print notice that is most often used in the financial industry to formally announce a particular transaction, such as an initial public offering or placement of stock of a company.
The Securities Act of 1933 required the publication of the tombstone advertisement to be printed in a newspaper and providing the barest of information on the transaction as the last step in the financial deal.
This is done in a form that discloses the participants in a specified order according to their role in underwriting or brokering the transaction. The name comes from the type of advertisement used, a 'tombstone ad', so called because the simple, centered text style with large amounts of whitespace and few if any images or other adornments make them resemble tombstones.
Tombstones ads are considered by the SEC to "condition the market" for the securities, and thus are an offer even though the notice may have not specifically describe the transaction.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s tombstones became a fixture within the culture of investment banking, both as a means of recognizing the work of its employees in successfully completing a transaction, and more importantly, and as a branding tool among the investment bank's clients.
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