Why Choose London?

Companies Raised More Money in London Than New York

CheckMoney

London has more institutional money under management than any other money centers

CheckMarket

The World’s Most Successful Growth Market. More than a quarter of the companies are from foreign countries

CheckReputation

No minimum size of company; No minimum proportion of shares to be in public hands; No trading record requirement

CheckCost & Efficiency

An AIM IPO costs less than half of a typical NASDAQ IPO. "nominated advisers" (or Nomads) is solely responsible for the admission.


London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM)

AIM has benefited from tax breaks offered to investors as well as its reduced regulatory requirements. This makes it cheaper and easier for companies to IPO, make future acquisitions, and comply with the day to day regulatory and investor requirements. As a result the cost of capital on AIM can be cheaper.

AIM is regulated by "nominated advisers" (or Nomads) who prepare the listing documents and get the issuer admitted to AIM. Every company needs a Nomad to act as their regulator. Although AIM is a self regulated market, it has a good reputation for being well policed while at the same time providing a flexible trading environment for growing businesses. This flexibility includes no minimum requirements over company size, track record, or the percentage of shares in public hands.

However, in regard to track record, if the company has been trading for less than two years, then the directors of the company and any major shareholders cannot sell their shares for a further year. Therefore, in this context there is still no exit until a track record is proven.

There are also many IPOs that would not be possible in the United States that can and are being done on AIM. AIM is what NASDAQ used to be, which is a global junior market for emerging companies. NASDAQ, for example, is no longer suited to companies with market capitalizations under $250 million. The ideal value of businesses on AIM is between $50 million to $500 million. At this level there is a liquidity advantage for AIM over NASDAQ.

AIM is also largely an institutional investment market which makes the cost of investor relations cheaper. Investors on AIM also have a good appetite for the risks involved in investing in growth companies and are sophisticated enough to understand the volatility of fast moving, dynamic businesses.

In regard to the AIM admission process, it can be very quick, taking as little as three months. And there are no specific corporate governance requirements for AIM companies. However, Nomads and the investors take corporate governance seriously, which is one reason that AIM has achieved its good reputation.

Nomads will want to ensure that there are independent, non-executive directors, proper board committees (e.g., remuneration and audit committees), and good internal controls and procedures. Many AIM companies choose to follow the requirements of the Combined Code for main market companies in the United Kingdom, and this is seen as favorable by investors (and can therefore lead to a higher share price).

This self regulation ensures that AIM has a good reputation for governance. There are no Sarbanes-Oxley requirements for AIM companies. However, a company must be careful not to get caught by SEC rules relating to U.S. shareholders, which would require them to register with the SEC. If this did happen, a company would be required to comply with all of the SEC rules. This would obviously take away any advantages of an AIM float compared with a NASDAQ listing.
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