A group of City of London grandees are drawing up a “new market model” for the UK’s capital markets after a bruising few months in which the capital has been rocked by a slew of firms heading towards New York.
The Capital Markets Industry Taskforce (CMIT), headed by London Stock Exchange chief Julia Hoggett, today announced it had commissioned a new deep dive on UK capital markets in a bid to carve out a new narrative for Britain as an international financial centre.
The fresh report follows a host of government-commissioned reviews over the past three years that have looked to usher in reform and keep London competitive, including a 2020 review of the listings regime and and secondary markets last year.
However, London has been hit by a sharp slump in IPO and listings activity over the past 12 months, fuelling fears that the capital is losing ground to international rivals.
The new Capital Markets of Tomorrow report, the brainchild of Freshfields lawyer and capital markets guru Mark Austin, will now look to reset the narrative around London and bring together the myriad reviews into a “cohesive package”.
Austin told City A.M. that reviews had addressed regulatory and legislative issues, but those now needed stringing together.
“Everyone recognises what the central question is, but we’ve all got a slightly different perspective and solution to the problem,” he told City A.M. “This all needs putting together into one cohesive, simple to understand model and vision, which goes all the way across law and regulation, market practice and the cultural attitude and mindset.”
The new report is also set to delve into the cultural attitude around issues like remuneration and executive compensation, Austin told City A.M., which has proved divisive in recent weeks.
Top figures fear that London is failing to attract top talent because of restrictions on executive pay.
L&G chief Sir Nigel Wilson will help author the new report alongside Austin, Penny James, a senior independent director at Hargreaves Lansdown and former CEO of Direct Line Group, and Alex Hickman, a former business special advisor to the Prime Minister.
In a statement, Wilson said the new report was a chance to “create a model which will help deliver long-term growth for the UK economy and finance the industries of the future at scale.”
The report, set to be published in Autumn this year, will look to lay out a “comprehensive, concise, and easily understandable report” that sets out the “new market model needed to help deliver growth across the broader UK economy”.
News of the deepdive comes amid a period of existential panic in City circles, fuelled by a listings drought and an exodus of firms to New York, including British chipmaker Arm and building supplier CRH.
Regulators have recently rolled out a number of new reforms to try and ease the way that firms can list in London, in a bid to tempt more firms to come to market.