Would you like to understand more about how some of your peers have grown their business on the stock market? Do you want to know more about accessing long-term equity capital?

london-stock-exchange-event-claire-dorrianOn Wednesday 9 November, Claire Dorrian (pictured right) and Marcus Stuttard from the London Stock Exchange will be available at Bristol’s Engine Shed for an informal conversation about the finance options available to you to support the growth of your business. To find out more, we caught up with Claire to ask who the event is for, and what attendees can expect.

TechSPARK: Who would most benefit from attending?

Claire Dorrian: As a fast-growing private company you may be thinking of taking your company public at some point in the future. As you grow and expand your business an IPO (Initial Public Offering) can help you access capital through the public equity markets and transform your business.

If you were transposing AIM onto the tech sector, the natural point of crossover is around Series B investment and beyond. AIM would suit a company with a valuation of anywhere from $30m all the way up to $1bn, though the sweet spot is between around $50m to $500m.

From a practical standpoint, investors will expect businesses to be able to show revenue growth. Profitability is less important, so long as a clear path to profitability can be shown.

TS: What kind of advice can you offer?

CD: We can help management teams and shareholders of private companies understand the benefits of going public, the difference in regulation between AIM and the Main Market, which companies are already listed, which investors they could attract, the process of listing and how life changes as a public company post-IPO (Initial Public Offering).

“Before embarking upon an IPO a company must base their decision on a realistic assessment of its business”


Before embarking upon an IPO, a company must base their decision on a realistic assessment of its business, management team, its stage of development and its prospects. We can assist companies in this education process and introduce them to advisers to support in the journey to IPO.

TS: If the end goal is to list on the stock exchange, when should companies start planning and what are their options?

CD: For many management teams, an IPO can seem a long way off and so a bit of a holy grail. However, as companies shift through the gears and grow, an IPO becomes for them an important milestone along a path of continuous development. Doing the initial preparation and ground work well before the actual IPO process starts allows for a smooth and efficient process, and the ability to take advantage of the optimum IPO window for your business. But preparing a company for an IPO isn’t something that can simply be done overnight.

“Careful thought, preparation, and planning are critical to a successful IPO”


Careful thought, preparation, and planning are critical to a successful IPO.  Companies should consider beginning the IPO readiness process early, at least a year to two years before the IPO, but we welcome having discussions with companies at a very early stage to navigate the information about becoming a public company.

An IPO listing on the London Stock Exchange will fall into one of four market segments – Premium or Standard on the Main Market, the High Growth Segment (HGS) and AIM. Each of these markets contains its own eligibility criteria, with Premium holding the most stringent, and HGS and AIM, comparatively more flexible.

We also run a programme called ELITE in collaboration with Imperial College Business School, for the UK’s most exciting and ambitious private companies helping them prepare and structure for their next stage of growth. It facilitates structured engagement between the UK’s most exciting private growth companies, entrepreneurs and business leaders as well as the corporate advisory and investor community. ELITE is a three part service of education, business support, mentoring and access delivered over an 18-month timeframe.

Sound like this is for you? If you would like to book a free 30-minute drop in session on Wednesday 9 November between 2.00 – 5.00 pm then please email Claire Dorrian.