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Access to finance

Is your company ready to go public?

Some of the factors you need to consider to assess your preparedness to go public include:

Strong management team

Investors will view their investment as a statement of faith in the individuals who lead the company.

Your management team must be able to show that it has:

  • the skills and experience to run and grow the business;
  • integrity and financial probity;
  • clear roles defined, with an identifiable leader who provides strong, proactive leadership;
  • an experienced and capable finance director;
  • passion for the business;
  • sufficient strength in order to run the company independently, not relying on individuals; and
  • strong industry and investor contacts.

Management teams that do not have all of these attributes often appoint additional part-time or non-executive directors to fill any gaps.

Clear business model

Potential investors need to understand:

  • your company’s growth prospects; and
  • the resources required to achieve them.

In developing your company’s business plan, some of the questions to ask are:

  • What are your company’s business activities?
  • What are the key factors behind its success?
  • What is the company’s competitive environment and positioning?
  • What is the strategy for growth?
  • What financial success and/or prospects does the business have and how does your business compare to your competitors?

Corporate governance

To help your company develop long-term relationships with the professional investor community, it will have to demonstrate good corporate governance practices. In the widest sense this spans:

  • board efficiency;
  • disclosure;
  • transparency;
  • investor communications; and
  • sustainability.

Investors will expect listed companies to be managed in a way that will minimise any potential conflict of interest between directors and shareholders.

Under EU regulation, companies on regulated markets are required to provide a statement on corporate governance. Check the EU regulation on Transparency Shareholders’ rights, Non-executive Directors and Remuneration policies.

However, each Member State has its own corporate governance code or national rules that public companies may be required to comply with.

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