Company shares given to friends and family members prior to an initial public offering. Also known as directed shares.
The phenomenon is growing so rapidly that friends-and-family shares are becoming a new currency in the Bay Area. Some new employees even negotiate friends-and-family shares as part of their employment contracts.
—Kathleen Pender, "Be Cautious When Business Associates Offer Access to IPO Shares," The San Francisco Chronicle, April 7, 2000
But the pre-IPO buzz about eTattler got louder and louder in the weeks immediately preceding the offering, largely because of the way we manipulated the media during that period. ...
The "Friends and Family shares" situation was a total mess. As seems to happen in these circumstances, we all started hearing from so-called friends who claimed to have gone to kindergarten with us, not to mention people we'd never even met, and family so distant that we couldn't figure out exactly how we were related.
—Dan Gillmor, "More on bogus web site eTattler," San Jose Mercury News, June 11, 1999