Friday, 25 March 2011

LSE Aim Conference 2011

Mark Hoban MP and Marcus Stuttard, Head of AIM
The annual AIM conference, held at The London Stock Exchange, was an excellent opportunity for AIM-quoted companies to stay up to date on the latest developments and trends affecting the market, and to network with peers and key industry figures

This year Abchurch sponsored the event alongside PricewaterhouseCoopers, BlackRock and Religare Capital Markets and met a wide selection of AIM-quoted companies along with investors and members of the small cap community.

Raymond Greaves (Head of Research, Religare) kicked off his presentation by saying: “AIM is an excellent place to be as a growth company but…you must have a good story to tell and execute well and…you need good advisors.”

Our CEO Julian Bosdet guided the CEO and Finance Director delegates through Building Relationships To Attract Investors. The importance of a cohesive approach covering retails investors, Private Client Investment Managers (PCIMs) and institutional investors was picked up well by the audience. With institutions unlikely to take a position through buying from retail investors, PCIMs are a very effective way of packaging up shares currently in retail hands to sell on to larger buyers.

The conference kicked off with a welcome from David Snell, Partner at PwC, who also presented later in the day on ‘Securing AIM’s Future’. The welcome was followed by an introduction delivered by Xavier Rolet, the Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange.

A keynote address delivered by Mark Hoban MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, praised the role AIM plays in supporting growing businesses and the UK economy. He said:

“Small and medium sized business enterprises play a vital role in our economy, providing both jobs and services throughout the UK and beyond. As a government, we are committed to supporting SME’s and have launched a range of initiatives including reform of EIS and VCT, funding for new Enterprise Zones and improving access to credit facilities for smaller companies. These and other projects are all designed to drive growth and innovation which will fuel the continued recovery of the UK economy.”

The afternoon session started with an AIM case study from Matthew Walls CEO of Epistem. This was a success story of AIM from the outset, with significant interest post-float, well-subscribed primary and secondary fund-raisings, and strong growth in share price despite the recent economic turmoil. Next to the stage was Madeleine Cordes of Capita Registrars discussing Corporate Governance for AIM Companies.

The day’s events were wrapped up with the final presentation provided by Ralph Cox, MD of the fund-manager BlackRock, where he went through the dos and don’ts when approaching fund managers; what he likes to see, and what will make him say “no thanks”.

These LSE events are always very educational and insightful for the audiences and it was brilliant to see a great turnout from AIM companies……we look forward to the next one!


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