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Uncovering the frustrations and difficulties faced by shareholders

| Friday February 3, 2017

2016 set into motion a number of significant political and economic events that will shape the coming year. With Britain voting to leave the European Union, interest rates being set at record-lows and Donald Trump winning the US Presidential Election, 2017 will now be defined by the progression of these landmark decisions.

For Britain’s businesses and investors, greater clarity around what Brexit will mean for the UK’s long-term economic progression is of utmost importance. Over the past fortnight, the Government has taken two notable steps to help on this matter – on 17 January Theresa May delivered a speech at Lancaster House in which she outlined the Government’s 12-point plan for Britain’s departure from the EU; this week, Brexit Secretary David Davis launched the Government’s White Paper on the same issue, firming up the Conservative Party’s stance on what Britain outside of the EU will look like. These notable announcements provide much-needed direction for Britain’s renowned collection of scaling businesses.

Further positive news came this week as the Bank of England stated that it expects the UK economy to grow 2% in 2017, a rise of 0.6% on November’s prediction, which was itself a 0.8% upgrade on August’s forecast. It paints a positive picture for the nation’s private sector, and the SMEs that are driving growth within it.

However, while there is evidently cause for optimism, Britain’s mid-size businesses still have some important obstacles to overcome. At present there are approximately 3,000 private companies in the UK that are mid-sized, well-established and profitable, yet they offer very little in the way of shareholder liquidity – across these businesses there are 500,000 individual stake-owning investors owning £300 billion worth of equity, which they cannot realise.

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Asset Match will soon be releasing a new report delving into the frustrations and difficulties faced by shareholders attempting to monetise or expand their equity portfolio. Based on a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults, the report will reveal the sentiments and challenges faced by investors looking to sell shares they own in private companies. In doing so, it further analyses how shareholder interest is being prioritised by their respective companies.

We look forward to sharing the results of this timely research with you next week.