Like Sony and the music industry, the Public Market is dying. No Entrepreneur aspires to be a public company CEO anymore.
When I wrote that back in 2007, my publishers at Wiley asked me to remove it from my book, Money Magnet: Attract Investors to Your Business. They said it was absurd and just not true.
I was allowed to keep a few pages on the slow demise of public markets due to Sarbanes-Oxley and then Elliott Spitzer's rule that banks could not allow investment banking to fund research. This was to stop the banks doing what they have done for decades, help fund managers decide where to invest and to use the bank for their trading.
Pretty soon, over the past decade, the graveyard of small cap companies were left "orphaned" - my publisher would not let me use that word either as it was "cruel". I tried to explain that is the official jargon used for companies ignored by the public market investors, but I am in Canada, and political correctness here is something to behold. These companies that no longer could get banks to do research on them, discovered that the investors shunned them too. There was no longer the time to investigate little companies and the cash flowed to the big, sure-bet stocks or out of the country to China, Brazil, India and Russia.
The more entrepreneurial investors with millions of dollars of their own, or pooled millions with ten of their buddies, were in the market for these smaller companies though. We have seen the rise in families investing in private companies directly and have built our business on this new, concentrated wealth. Ironically, the Teachers' pension and Hospital pension found out about the 25% return rates and have now channeled cash to these private equity companies too.
My company, Loewen & Partners, benefits from that red tape imposed by the US government, as it is impacting Bay Street too. One growing segment of our client base, are the companies leaving the stock exchange to go private, as the entire Real Estate industry did and the manufacturing base too. The companies that now go to the Stock Exchange tend not to make revenues and doing an IPO is a last ditch attempt. These are the medical and drug companies, along with the high tech businesses. They have a very short life and time to survive. Small cap mining is also going that way which is why the mining stock go to Europe instead. I am seeing more and more "refugees" from the public markets in my boardroom asking if we can help.