In an up-beat interview with London South East, Aquis Exchange CEO and founder Alasdair Haynes told us how he wants to make a lot of changes to listings and fundraising at the Aquis Stock Exchange, and to continue to be a disruptor. Aquis #AQSE have recently purchased NEX Exchange and are consulting on plans to transform the way the exchange operates.
Alasdair Haynes hopes to raise standards at the Exchange, and plans to differentiate stocks by size, with levels of access within the Exchange, effectively for micro cap, small cap and larger companies, each with different regulations and different trading mechanisms, "because different sized companies trade in different ways".
"We are bringing in all sorts of rules which will protect not just the issuer but the investor and makes this a safe and good place for people to come and invest," said the Aquis CEO. "For example, we will ban shorting of stocks on our Access and Apex tiers on the Exchange".
Alasdair believes that competition between exchanges is important, and points to the fact that although the LSE's AIM has existed for 25 years, there has nonetheless been a steady decline in the number of companies coming to market. "That's bad news for investors because the best growth comes from smaller companies."
"Equities hasn't been the core business of previous owners, whereas our core business is about equities, it is about technology, it is about innovation, so this is a really core investment for us."
"We want companies to come and list with us and raise capital, which is what it's all about," he explained.
"We must differentiate ourselves. It's so important you don't do the same thing but cheaper, rather we will do something which is fit for the future," he said.
As for retail access to IPOs, "We believe access to retail investment flow is critical in any IPO, and we think its really important any retail investor should be allowed to invest in these fast growing, small cap, entrepreneurial businesses."
In March 2020, NEX Exchange become part of Aquis Exchange PLC and is now called Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE).
Aquis Exchange is the 7th largest stock exchange by value traded in Europe, trading over 1,800 equity securities across 14 markets on its low latency and high-performance trading platforms.
AQSE offers a compelling alternative for companies seeking a public market listing. In addition to attracting equity offerings, SMEs can also admit debt onto the platform.
AQSE is home to nearly 90 primary market securities and includes household names such as Shepherd Neame, Chapel Down & Adnams, as well as over 600 stocks registered for trading on its secondary market (AQSE Trading). AQSE securities are eligible for inclusion in SIPPs and ISAs and are exempt from stamp duty. Retail investors may also benefit from CGT, IHT and EIS reliefs, amongst others on growth market securities.