Choose your advisors
Your advisers will be instrumental throughout the process of going public and once your company is on the stock market.
Corporate Finance Advisers
Your Corporate Finance Advisers will be the most important advisers to help you prepare for an IPO. Their responsibilities include:
- coordinating the application for listing;
- producing the Prospectus or other disclosure document complying with the rules of a relevant Multilateral Trading Facility (Admission Document) and other necessary documentation in time and on budget;
- helping you ensure that all the regulatory requirements concerning the listing of your shares are complied with; and
- liaising with the appropriate regulators and your chosen stock exchange.
Having a Corporate Finance Adviser is not an EU legal requirement, but may be a local requirement in some Member States.
Brokers will help you coordinate any fundraising your company may undertake at admission or once on market.
During a fundraising, they will:
- coordinate the investor presentations;
- negotiate the valuation of your company’s shares; and
- raise the equity capital.
After admission to market, the broker will work with you to:
- help ensure that your company’s shares are traded, and that
- the share price is at the best level that can be achieved given your company’s performance.
Many Corporate Finance Advisers (see above) also have a corporate broking function.
The accountants’ main tasks are:
- to investigate and verify your company’s past financial performance, and
- to help work out how much money the company needs to raise to meet its objectives using financial models.
The financial statements included in official documents and subsequent periodic financial reports will need to comply with accounting standards. For listing on a Regulated Market and on certain Multilateral Trading Facilities, this work will include translating your accounts from local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) into International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as stipulated by EU law.
The lawyers will help you with:
- producing a full due diligence report on the legal aspects of your company and its business, contracts and property;
- producing other documents that may be needed, such as employment agreements and stock option plans; preparing and/or verifying the Prospectus/ Admission Document; and
- ensuring that you comply with the regulations and corporate governance requirements of going public.
The registrars are responsible for:
- ensuring that your company’s register of members accurately reflects the purchasers and sellers of shares both during the IPO process and after becoming public.
The registrars often have primary responsibility for:
- mailing communications to shareholders, including annual reports and notices of shareholder meetings.
Financial Public Relations/Investor Relations
A Financial Public Relations Adviser will help to:
- increase the visibility of your company among a variety of business and financial audiences, including business media, analysts and the investor community; and
- An Investor Relations Adviser will help you to promote your company to its shareholders.
You may find an adviser which carries out both of these roles.
Such an adviser may create an information policy for your company with:
- guidelines for the production and distribution of information, such as: press releases, publications and announcements, websites, and crisis management documents dealing with rumours and information leaks;
- media training for directors; and
- the appointment of an appropriate spokesperson.
For best practices in terms of investor relations for listed companies, check with your Stock Exchange for the relevant association in your country. You can also refer to the Global Investor Relations Network.
Security printersSpecialist firms of security printers who are used to printing financially sensitive documents are often engaged to produce the final version of the Prospectus/Admission Document.
“The selection of advisors was done in two stages. Firstly they were selected through personal recommendation or a previous working relationship. Secondly they were interviewed, asked how they would handle our expectations and to forecast their thoughts and vision on the process and outcome.”
Gobind Sahney, Chairman and Chief Executive of Stratmin Global Resources plc, a British graphite production and exploration company listed on London Stock Exchange’s AIM.