Silicon Valley Bank is getting diced up for potential buyers. Here’s what we know now

March 14, 2023, 11:22 AM UTC
Federal regulators fired senior management at Silicon Valley Bank this weekend, including former CEO Greg Becker.
Patrick Fallon—Getty Images

I’m very tired. 

While the startup world is breathing a huge sigh of relief after the U.S. government took action Sunday—not everyone is, including limited partners in Silicon Valley Bank’s $10 billion venture arm, who are waiting on a buyer for the VC operation. Shareholder lawsuits are starting to emerge. Silicon Valley Bank’s senior management has been fired. And two venture capitalists have been appointed to SVB’s new “restructuring committee”—to dice up the various entities once under the Silicon Valley Bank umbrella.

Here’s a play-by-play of the latest we know now:

The bank is still being managed by some tech and VC-adjacent people

– Federal banking regulators fired Silicon Valley Bank’s senior management, as President Joe Biden pointed out in his presidential address on the matter yesterday. (As Biden put it: “If the bank is taken over by FDIC, the people running the bank should not work there anymore.”)

– Silicon Valley Bank is now being run by Tim Mayopoulos, as of yesterday. You might recognize him as the former CEO of Fannie Mae. But his most recent gig is president of banking infrastructure fintech Blend, which was backed by Tiger Global, Coatue, General Atlantic, and Temasek before it went public in 2021.

SVB put together a restructuring committee, comprised of preexisting SVB board members, that will be responsible for finding buyers for the bank, SVB Capital, SVB Securities, and the company’s other assets and investments, and figure out what to do with the $3 billion in funded debt at SVB Financial. Two of them are venture capitalists. Here’s who’s on the committee: 1) Eric Benhamou, a cloud and enterprise tech venture capitalist; 2) Tom King, a former Barclays executive; 3) Kay Matthews, a former E&Y executive who is chair of SVB Financial’s board; 4) Mary Miller, the former Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance during the Obama administration; and 5) Kate Mitchell, an early-stage enterprise SaaS venture capitalist.

– William Kosturos, a managing director of business advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal, was named chief restructuring officer. He was the guy in charge of the Washington Mutual restructuring.

There are several different entities, and it’s looking like they will be split up

Silicon Valley Bank, as in the bank that was insolvent and closed by regulators on Friday, is reportedly going through the auction process again, because, well, apparently no one wanted it the first time around.

– SVB Financial Group, as in the parent company of the bank, is no longer the parent company of the bank, as was decided when the FDIC became receiver on Friday.

– SVB Capital, as in the $10 billion venture arm of SVB, has been put up for sale. As I reported yesterday after speaking with LPs, interested buyers include large financial services providers, asset managers, and sovereign wealth funds. Some limited partners are very displeased with communication from the venture firm. “They sent us this platitude email around [yesterday] about how ‘our funds are safe’—but, I mean, is that even true? There’s so much going on there. It’s very, very concerning,” one limited partner told me.

– SVB Securities, as in the investment banking division, is also up for sale. This division has been very busy issuing various statements about how it is still operational, and, more recently, as it “sets the record straight” about its executives. 

– HSBC already acquired the U.K. unit of Silicon Valley Bank. It sold for £1.

That’s all for now. See you tomorrow,

Jessica Mathews
Twitter: @jessicakmathews
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Jackson Fordyce curated the deals section of today’s newsletter.


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