London, 31 October 2012 – ICAP (IAP.L), the world’s leading interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk and information services, today announces the launch of ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange (ISDX), the listing venue for small and medium sized enterprises seeking access to equity capital to finance and grow their businesses.
This launch and rebranding follows ICAP’s purchase of PLUS Stock Exchange plc on 21 June when ICAP committed to supporting and expanding the listings venue. At ICAP’s offices in London today a number of ISDX companies will present to an audience of investors, advisors, market makers and other stakeholders. Companies presenting are Bioventix plc, Central Asian Minerals and Resources plc, Chapel Down Group plc, Daniel Thwaites plc, One Media iP Group plc, Quercus Publishing plc, Shepherd Neame Ltd and Sprue Aegis plc.
At the presentation ICAP will announce a series of initiatives which have been developed in close consultation with the market and draw on ICAP’s extensive experience and expertise as a markets operator. These include:
the provision of increased liquidity to the market by the addition of two leading market makers, Peel Hunt and Shore Capital, which will make markets in ISDX’s largest stocks to ensure the exchange operates as an orderly primary and secondary marketplace;
a focus on increasing the quality of the companies listed on the exchange, including the introduction of a new admissions framework in 2013, to ensure stricter common standards for companies joining ISDX and strengthen investor confidence; and
a new exchange website, www.isdx.com. This will provide real-time pricing information, news, account downloads and charting information and so allow companies to communicate more effectively with investors.
ISDX will allow companies to raise capital on the primary market and investors to trade shares in these companies on an active secondary market. The exchange will be a viable alternative listings venue to support the growth ambitions of SMEs, providing them with widespread exposure to their current and potential investors.
ICAP has established a new management team committed to the development and success of the exchange. This team is led by Seth Johnson CEO of ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange and member of ICAP’s Global Executive Management Group.
Michael Spencer, Group CEO of ICAP, said: “As someone who has founded and grown a business I know how important it is to be able to access development capital. I’m very pleased that ICAP is providing SMEs with a well-run and well-supported listings venue, with a clear and transparent route to market, to support their long-term growth ambitions. SMEs are vitally important to the UK economy and ICAP is committed to developing ISDX for the benefit of the whole business and financial community.”
Seth Johnson, CEO of ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange, said: “The launch of ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange today is great news for smaller companies and their investors. Companies seeking to list will benefit from a clear and straightforward route to market. Investors will gain access to exciting growth opportunities and with market makers committed to providing liquidity, they will be able to trade these shares with confidence. We are committed to the success of this exchange and as an experienced markets operator, ICAP has the right skills and knowledge to make this the venue of choice for SMEs seeking equity capital.”
Peter Harrison, CEO of Bioventix said: “ICAP has demonstrated they are committed to the success of this exchange as an SME listing and trading venue, which will give companies like Bioventix widespread exposure and access to capital. Creating a strong primary and liquid secondary market is extremely welcome and we are delighted to be able to benefit from ICAP’s vast markets expertise.”
Paul Stevens, Fund Manager at Octopus Investments said: This is an important part of the equities market, providing smaller companies with a platform to access capital. The ability to trade these stocks with low transaction costs and immediacy of trading makes this an attractive market to invest through.”
Iain Morgan, Head of Trading at Market Maker Peel Hunt said: “We recognise there is investor demand to trade stocks on this exchange and are committed to providing liquidity. In creating ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange, ICAP has responded to the need for an SME equity market that can function effectively alongside new European Union regulations and we are looking forward to working with them to make this exchange a success.”
Tim Ward, CEO of the Quoted Companies Alliance said: “There are nearly 2,000 small and mid-size quoted companies in the UK, representing 85% of all quoted companies. Access to capital is one of the most important issues for our members. The launch of ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange is great news for all such companies. They are the UK’s engines of growth and their performance will drive our future economic success.”