Top banks step back from AIM
Move coincides with Stock Exchange review of alternative market's advisers
Sunday 18 August 1996
UBS, the second large bank frequently cited to give an imprimatur of quality to AIM, also said it was not pursuing AIM business actively.
The moves comes as the Stock Exchange starts a review of the suitability of AIM's nominated advisers, who are charged with advising on flotation and making checks on the company and its directors before admission.
The review itself coincides with controversy centering on Gerrard Vivian Gray, the boutique City broker that has floated five AIM companies so far. Of these, two have faced censure for failure to report price-sensitive information.
Another company advised by Gerrard Vivian Gray, Skynet, pulled out of its planned AIM float last week after the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA) confirmed it was looking into the company's share dealings on Ofex, the unregulated share market. Instead, Skynet raised an estimated pounds 3m over the weekend through private investors.
As revealed in last week's Independent on Sunday, Gerrard Vivian Gray is expected to be the subject of disciplinary action by the Stock Exchange as a result of omissions in the admission document for Optical Care (Bermuda) Ltd. Last month Optical Care's chairman, Rupert Galliers-Pratt, accepted a public rebuke from the Exchange for failing to include his 17 former directorships of failed companies. Last week, the company said it was "considering its position" as a nominated adviser.
BZW, meanwhile, says it will keep its nominated adviser rights, but will not be active in the market. Corporate finance director Jeremy Mead played down speculation that it was concerned about its reputation being tarnished by its association with AIM. "It's just not the type of business we are pursuing at the moment," he said.
Simon Thorpe, head of corporate finance for small companies at UBS, said his firm was taking a "toe in the water" attitude to the market and not steering any new companies towards AIM at the moment.
Open criticism was levelled last week by some of the other bigger names at the way in which companies are brought to market. "There are some advisers who are cutting corners so they can offer low fees," said Mark Speller, partner at Coopers & Lybrand Corporate Finance, which has sponsored three AIM floats.
Neill Clerk Capital, which has brought 25 companies to AIM, dismissed the criticism as "sour grapes". "Our belief is we can never do too much due diligence," said Jane Waddell, a director of corporate finance at Neill Clerk.
Another nominated adviser blamed the Stock Exchange for not giving advisers enough guidance over the interpretation of AIM rules. "When we see the fundamental gaps in knowledge that some of the advisers have allowed through, it's shocking," said its corporate finance head, who declined to be named.
AIM's head of regulation, Simon Brickles, said he had not heard complaints from any adviser about standards or about support from the AIM team at the Stock Exchange. "If the kitchen's too hot, they know what to do," he said.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Sex abuse inquiry: 'Victims receive death threats' after MPs release names online
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...