Life After IPO: An Insider's View

Imran Anwar, who helped The Hut Group through one of the biggest London listings in years, explains some of the challenges of life as a public company

External Writer 30 November, 2021 | 2:43PM
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

London skyline

So You've Gone Public! What Next?

Once you've gone public, your employees may find themselves wondering what they should be doing, since their roles have become more critical than ever before. Remember that not every part of your business's life will be “better” now that you have more cash available from the IPO funds. Things can become difficult for management teams as their time is spent more time on investor and relationship management and less on driving day to day business.

One way to ensure your company's IPO is successful and profitable for all parties involved is to make sure you constantly monitor the market for news and views about your company and manage investor expectations accordingly. This will allow you to get a general feel of what people think about and expect from your company and understand where market expectations are regarding business performance.

Due to the focus of investors on results announcements and the company's ability to exceed expectations, forecasting accuracy within organisations becomes vital to operating successfully in a public environment. For example, if your company's share price dropped a lot before the earnings report is scheduled to be released, there is probably something going on that you should know about.

One way to deal with this is to investigate and make sure everything being reported and discussed externally is on track with how you expect and previous guidance you have provided. If it’s not, then you may want to consider releasing a public statement with more information.

Imran Anwar

How to Deal With Investors and Customers

An IPO only allows investors an opportunity to invest in your company. They will not usually have any say on how you run your business or how your company operates on a day-to-day.

It’s important to remember this, especially when investors may start calling you with questions or concerns. When it comes to the shareholders, they will want some return on their investments. The level of return may be driven by the expectations set at IPO and subsequent quarterly earnings presentations. This is why you must ensure your company's services and products are top notch and continue to capture the customer's needs and deliver growth. Keeping customers happy and satisfied is vital to help drive shareholder value up, as is keeping investors informed and providing clarity, where possible, on the future trajectory of the business.

Keep on Top of the Numbers

Once your company is public, you need to be open and transparent about releasing your financial statements. Keeping your accountants on top of releasing earnings reports on time will keep you from having any issues with regulators. It’s important to note that any company has a certain amount of time to release financials before they’re seen as late. It’s critical businesses then meet these deadlines to avoid introducing uncertainty and concern into the minds of investors and analysts.

Finishing out the first year as a public company and starting with a clean slate is an exciting time for your business. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity and ensure your employees feel like they understand their roles in making the company succeed. By taking care of these items, it will set them up for success not only during the IPO, but in the coming years moving forward also.

Imran Anwar is chief financial officer at Epos Now.

Prior to joining Epos Now, Imran served as deputy group chief financial officer at The Hut Group (THG PLC). During this time, he built out the finance, governance and risk infrastructure to drive the company through a successful IPO on the London Stock Market, the largest UK initial public offering for three years.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

About Author

External Writer  .