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Austin Review on Secondary Capital Raisings published, recommending capital raising reforms for UK companies listed on capital markets

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) corporate partner Mark Austin has published his recommendations in the UK Secondary Capital Raising Review, which outlines a range of initiatives to strengthen UK’s position as a world-leading financial centre, listing venue and incubator of growth companies.  The recommendations were welcomed and accepted by the Chancellor at his Mansion House speech last night as well as by the FCA and the Pre-Emption Group.

The Review advances a key recommendation from Lord Hill’s UK Listing Review last year, including better use of technology, changes to increase the ability of companies to raise smaller amounts of funds quickly and cheaply and ensuring retail investors are involved in all capital raisings, while maintaining and enhancing the UK’s existing pre-emption regime

The Review has received support from market stakeholders including: Lord Hill, Abrdn, AFME, Blackrock, Bridgepoint, the BVCA, Euroclear UK & International, Hargreaves Lansdown, Innovate Finance, Interactive Investor, TheCityUK, The Investment Association, New Financial, Jupiter Asset Management, London Stock Exchange, Marks & Spencer, Quoted Companies Alliance, ShareSoc, Schroders, UK Shareholders’ Association, UK Finance, and Whitbread.

Freshfields partner Mark Austin said: “The proposals announced today are designed to further enhance the international competitiveness of UK capital markets and support the growth ambitions of companies already listed on them. By removing regulatory barriers and adopting new technologies companies will be able to carry out quicker and cheaper capital raisings while still protecting the rights of existing shareholders.

Our conversations with a wide range of stakeholders also highlighted the potential significant benefits to UK capital markets if both institutional and retail investors hold their shares in fully digitised form. Such a step would enhance the ability of individual shareholders to constructively engage with companies on governance and ESG issues, contributing to better stewardship outcomes and strengthening engagement between issuers and their investors.”

Further info on the Review can be found here