Anthony Hotson

Anthony Hotson

"The UK is fortunate to have the world’s most successful growth market in AIM"

Sponsor foreword by Anthony Hotson, CEO, Cenkos

Cenkos is proud to once again be sponsoring 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, which showcases some of the UK’s leading growth businesses. Since its inception in 2005, Cenkos has raised over £18.9bn of equity capital for growth companies, a number of which have featured in this report. We firmly believe that equity financing is the most appropriate source of funding for growing businesses, as it enables business owners to react quickly to changing markets, without the burden of capital repayments.

The UK is fortunate to have the world’s most successful growth market in AIM. More than 900 companies are trading on AIM to benefit from being at the heart of the global finance community. AIM was designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and has appropriate regulation and a wide range of institutional and other investors. Companies admitted to AIM gain access to a deep pool of capital, which is unavailable for many smaller private companies. A total of £5.5bn was raised in 2018 of which £1.6bn and £3.9bn were raised through IPOs and secondary issues respectively.

We resolutely believe, and indeed have shown, that quality growth companies with credible management teams are able to gain access to capital from equity investors, regardless of market conditions. Brexit has dominated the news over the last three years; despite this, SMEs have continued to thrive, employing over 16.3 million people and generating a combined turnover of £2trn in 2018, equivalent to 52% of the UK total. Foreign investors have been undeterred by the macro-economic environment, with capital inflows increasing by £149bn to £1,337bn in 2017, maintaining the UK’s position as Europe’s number one destination for foreign direct investment.

At Cenkos, we pride ourselves in forming long-lasting relationships with our corporate clients and connecting them with supportive shareholders. Cenkos is broker to over 100 companies listed on AIM and the Main Market, which range in size from less than £5m to over £1bn. For smaller companies, VCT and EIS schemes continue to support young, knowledge-intensive businesses and provide a wider pool of patient capital. If you are considering how best to fund the next stage of your company’s growth, it may well be that accessing the equity markets in the UK is the best option for you. We would be delighted to have an informal, no obligations call or meeting to explore matters.