U.S. Chamber and Partners Make Recommendations to Reverse Decline in IPOs, Expand America’s Public Capital Markets

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 8:00am

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with a host of partner organizations representing a diverse cross-section of the American economy, issued a new report today that offers a slate of recommendations for strengthening U.S. public capital markets by helping more companies go and stay public.

“The public company model has become increasingly unattractive to U.S. businesses in recent years,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness. “One-size-fits-all rules and regulations, a lack of research of small and early-stage companies, and costly and burdensome reporting requirements have raised barriers to entry, or in some cases, impelled companies to go public much later in the business’s life cycle.

“When fewer companies go public, the U.S. business community loses an important path to attract investment, create jobs, and generate economic growth, and American investors lose out on opportunities to share in the upsides of economic expansion,” said Hirschmann.

Motivated by a shared concern that the decline in the number of U.S. public companies has inhibited opportunities for American families and businesses, the U.S. Chamber and its partners from across the business community – a coalition that proved instrumental to the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012 – joined together in support of nearly two dozen concrete recommendations for enabling IPOs. The recommendations fall into five categories:

  • Enhancing the JOBS Act
  • Encouraging more research of emerging growth companies (EGCs) and other small public companies
  • Improving certain corporate governance, disclosure, and other regulatory requirements
  • Financial reporting
  • Tailoring equity market structure for small public companies

The report, “Expanding the On-Ramp: Recommendations to Help More Companies Go and Stay Public,” is being released today during the U.S. Chamber’s 12th annual Capital Markets Summit, which will feature a panel discussion about the report’s recommendations and improving regulations to stimulate more IPOs. The event will be streamed live online here.

In his remarks at the summit, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will share the business community’s perspective on the impact of listless public capital markets on America’s economic vitality and competitiveness.

“Think about the benefits IPOs deliver,” Donohue will say. “There’s an immediate payday for the owners and investors that rewards them for their hard work and sweat equity. There’s an infusion of capital that helps propel companies to the next level, which often means lots of new jobs. There’s an increase in competition and innovation, which are essential to a healthy and growing economy. And there are more opportunities for Main Street ‘Mom and Pop’ investors to share in a company’s success.”

Donohue will also outline several challenges faced by public companies, saying, “What I’m talking about is nothing less than an attempt to suck the vitality out of some of America’s best companies. What’s the end result? A dramatic reduction in the number of public companies in America.”

The coalition of groups involved with the report include the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the National Venture Capital Association, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, TechNet, the Equity Dealers of America, the American Securities Association, and Nasdaq.

The full report is available online here.

The U.S. Chamber’s Capital Markets Summit will also feature speakers including Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), and Allstate Chairman and CEO and U.S. Chamber Chairman Tom Wilson.