A public listing: The opportunities and benefits

Marcus Stuttard of London Stock Exchange Group is still surprised by entrepreneurs who aren’t fully aware of the opportunity to raise long-term equity capital through the public markets

4th June, 2019
Marcus Stuttard of London Stock Exchange Group

What's your name?

Marcus Stuttard

What position do you hold?

Head of AIM and UK Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). London Stock Exchange is the world’s most international market. Last year, companies raised £35.8 billion in equity through IPOs, new listings and follow-on fund-raisings on our London markets. This included £5.5 billion raised on AIM, the world’s leading growth market. Through our markets companies have access to the deepest pools of global investor liquidity to support their growth.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

In my role as Head of UK Primary Markets I lead our business development team in the UK, which focuses on supporting companies listed on our markets as well as those interested in joining. In addition, I also have overall responsibility for AIM, our leading international growth market. As part of my role, my team and I meet companies and advisors to understand their funding needs and to promote the benefits of London and of equity capital. We also help ensure that the wider regulatory and financing environment supports companies and their investors. London Stock Exchange works with a wide range of issuers, from scaling businesses to large cap FTSE 100 companies.

What is your professional background?

I’ve worked at London Stock Exchange Group for nearly 25 years, during which time the group has been through a period of rapid transformation and financial markets globally have evolved rapidly. I feel extremely privileged to have been part of that transformational change and to have had first-hand experience of countless entrepreneurs financing their businesses through the effective use of capital markets, creating jobs, wealth and often deploying disruptive innovation along the way.

You spoke at the 2019 Growth Capital Summit. What did you speak about?

The Growth Capital Summit was an important opportunity to make sure the companies understand the wide range of financing opportunities available. I am still surprised when I meet entrepreneurs who aren’t fully aware of the opportunity to raise long-term equity capital through the public markets, even at a relatively early stage in their development. I will therefore be talking about the opportunities and benefits associated with a public listing as well as the key factors entrepreneurs should be considering even if an IPO may be a longer-term consideration.

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

In 2018 London Stock Exchange continued to be the leading exchange in Europe for equity listings. We also welcomed the broadest range of domestic and international companies of any exchange in Europe. Notably, there were high-profile listings such as Aston Martin as well as 19 tech IPOs, a five-year high, including cybersecurity firm Avast, which raised over $800 million. 12 of the tech IPOs were from companies who joined AIM, making it the most popular European growth market for tech companies. More broadly, AIM accounted for almost 60 per cent of all growth market finance throughout Europe in 2018.

What’s next for your company?

We will continue to focus on helping the world’s finest companies raise growth finance through London and there is a strong pipeline of companies across the UK and internationally looking to access the markets over the course of 2019. Later this year, LSEG will also launch the 6th edition of our 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, which showcases the fastest growing private companies in the UK.

What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?

Dynamic small and scaling businesses are the heartbeat of the economy, driving jobs and growth. There is a vast amount of patient equity available throughout Europe but, for growing companies, there are sometimes too many barriers to access it. We therefore need to see more initiatives to make long-term capital more readily available across the funding ladder. Reducing the over-reliance on debt will also underpin global systemic resilience.

The ability to tap markets for additional funding continues to be a significant benefit of going public, with two-thirds of the capital raised on our markets being through follow-on transactions from investors looking to invest in the success of companies over the long-term.

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