The name Ocean Tomo reflects the firm’s vision as an Intellectual Capital Merchant Banc™ firm.

OCEAN reflects the cross-continental importance of intellectual property as well as our belief that principles of traditional assets often apply to intellectual property. The legal acronym for the adverse possession of tangible property (Open, Continuous, Exclusive, Adverse and Notorious) has analogy to the explicit (in the case of trademarks) or implicit risk of not using intellectual property as a business asset for the benefit of stakeholders.

TOMO is a Japanese word for intelligent and friendly and reflects the Asian notion of an integrated, friendly group of related businesses.

Ocean Tomo's culture is entrepreneurial, open and based on a foundation of common sense. Most importantly, Ocean Tomo is an organization built on the concept of the "team" where every employee makes a difference. Our culture is a key differentiator when recruiting new professionals and can be seen in our actions, policies and values.

History of Merchant Banking 

The term "merchant bank" stems from leading merchants of the early 1800's, whether trading in grain, paper or steel, who transitioned from merchanting to banking when they had built up a sufficient reputation for soundness, reliability and wealth to warrant their colleagues' trust. The profits from banking the commodities of the day were greater and the risks were lower.* Early examples of merchant banking often involved international trade between the United States and Europe due to the sheer period of time required to contract, ship and receive goods. Financing trade gave merchant banks the opportunity to deal in commodities on their own account. Merchant banking and its dealing in commodities is distinct from investment banking dealing in securities. The merchant banker's role evolved in the 1920's when leading firms became heavily involved in advising, as well as financing, their clients.**

Although not defined in U.S. federal banking and securities laws, today the term "merchant banking" is generally understood to mean "negotiated private equity investment by financial institutions in the unregistered securities of either privately or publicly held companies." Other investment banking services - raising capital from outside sources, advising on mergers and acquisitions, and providing bridge loans while bond financing is being raised in a leveraged buyout - are also typically offered by financial institutions engaged in merchant banking.***

Building on a legacy of innovation, Ocean Tomo is guided by the nation's leading intellectual capital managers and advisors - intellectual captial merchants. We represent an integrated offering of asset management and advisory services, many of which can be traced over one hundred years to comparable offerings of the most well-known of merchant banks.

View our brand at a glance here.