2005 was a great year by many metrics, especially if you are an English cricket fan but also it was vintage for the London Stock Exchange (LSE). 1/5 of all IPOs in the world were undertaken in London that year. Unfortunately, 15 years later, LSE's share of global IPOs has dropped staggeringly to 4% (from 20% in 2005). The number of companies listed has fallen 40% since the high point in 2007. The biggest and most exciting IPOs are going to New York and other jurisdictions, and LSE only has a tiny fragment of the tech sector - 2% of its value (as compared to 39% for their American opposite number - the S&P 500). There is therefore a serious short supply of start ups listing here. While this may not exactly represent the decline and fall of LSE, it does warrant an injection of corporate botox.
Concerned about being left in the dust, reviews have been undertaken and a number of fixes proposed. These range from liberalising visas to doing what it takes to get five big fintech listings, as well as the obvious step of encouraging pension funds to give greater UK bias in portfolios which have understandably becomes increasingly global. The main remedy that has been suggested could potentially create a bonanza of listings here - that is to allow companies to have dual class shares which is not presently permitted on LSE's premium segment, but is commonplace on rival stock exchanges. Dual class shares would give enhanced voting rights on shares and will be popular among founders wishing to keep their hand on the tiller. This, together with less red tape on the corporate governance side, may be what it takes to pump blood back into the veins of Britain's bourse.
The market that remains is plagued by underperformance. A dollar invested across the world's stockmarket in 2005 would have been worth $3.07 by the end of 2020. Invested in Britain's, it would have been worth $1.55