Term Sheet

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Dear Advanced Equities: Please call your clients

December 5, 2012: 4:31 PM ET

Advanced Equities is shutting down in silence.

FORTUNE -- It's been nearly three weeks since broker-dealer Advanced Equities decided to cease operations, after having helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for companies like Bloom Energy and Fisker Automotive. Since then, its clients have been unable to get any information on the status of their investments -- even though some of them have millions of dollars at stake.

On November 17, Advanced Equities sent out the following email to all clients:

Dear client,

Advanced Equities, Inc. ("AEI") is engaged in the process of winding down its operations. Once AEI's registered representatives have transferred their licenses to another broker/dealer, investors may be contacted regarding the options available. Should any investor have funds in escrow, such investor will be contacted by a member of AEI's compliance department to discuss the return of such funds. The winding down of AEI's operations will not affect the assets owned by the Limited Liability Companies.

It also posted a similar message on its website, removing all other information (including contact details for any remaining staffers).

Since then, Advanced Equities has been radio silent. No updates for investors in its LLCs, such as what happens when lockups expire on some of their public holdings or calldowns are required on their private holdings. Does AE still have people managing such things? Has it found a third-party manager (as it was rumored to be seeking)? Something else?

One investor with exposure to Bloom said he's even reached out to both Bloom and Advanced Equity's auditors, but didn't receive a reply from either. "I want to trust that my shares are safe and that there's still value, but right now I'm in the dark," he tells me.

UPDATE: Ask, and ye shall receive...

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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