The word tombstone has grave connotations. People not associated with the financial services sector would have difficulty associating the word to investment banking industry. And, like its cemetery counterpart, an investment banking tombstone is usually text rich. However, the financial tombstone does not allow for fun, frivolous and insightful content. It is a formal document used to provide information a banker shares with stakeholders or the general public.

So, inside of sticking to mumbo-jumbo, let us dumb-down the basics.

What is a tombstone?

In financial terminology, it refers to an announcement as a print or online advertisement. The rather unusual name for this financial tool is attributed to the thick black border. It is integral to an investment banking pitch or marketing collateral.

Who creates the tombstone?

An underwriter creates it. It is a legal requirement, and companies require underwriters well-versed in applicable taxes and laws of their country and industry to create these.

What is the purpose of a tombstone?

The written advertisement could announce:

  • An initial public offering or an IPO
  • Placements of a company’s stock

These are not used for the purpose of buying or selling a stock or bond. Rather, these are just a means of sharing information to current stakeholders that the company is ready to issue new shares and stocks in the market.

Are they used for any other purpose beside the announcement of stocks?

Yes, investment banking tombstones are used mainly for announcing a company’s:

  • A company’s role in a private placement
  • A corporate merger
  • A corporate acquisition

How is it Constructed?

In most cases, it is constructed in black and white or grey. Text is used for advertising the message or announcement that an investment banking firm want to share.

Here are some facts and information that this important financial tool should print:

  • Types of securities
  • Number of securities
  • The steps to purchase
  • When to purchase
  • Credit rating of the security
  • Names of authorised sellers

What are the protocols or restrictions for creating a tombstone?

Companies are expected to follow the restrictions and protocols set by the industry or those of the company publishing the tombstone. For example, in the United States, the Security and Exchange Commission makes it mandatory for companies to readying to issue new shares or stock to publish advertisements. It is one of the many components of the disclosure requirement.

Are these investment banking tools published only in print media?

No, these are not limited to traditional newspapers. They can be mailed to current stakeholders, and they can be published on the company’s website or online news sites.

What are the typical issues faced while creating a tombstone?

Many companies use templates to make it easier to create an investment banking tombstone.

But, they face issues such as:

  • Disorganised information about the deal
  • Incomplete information about the share
  • Inconsistent formats
  • Manual effort to create a balance of information and aesthetics

Fintech companies offer viable and cost-effective solutions that make it easier and quicker to create legally correct tombstones.