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Better to disrupt with new technology or new process? The ultimate chicken or egg discussion



September 18, 2023

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Steve Henney, Co-Head of Business Development, Aquis Stock Exchange
Fresh from our recent “Modernising the IPO process” event, it was great to see the enthusiasm from key players in our ecosystem to look for ways to advance the public market experience.
A question posed during our panel discussion really got me thinking: “What comes first – technological advancement or a desire to improve process?”
I was chairing the panel at the time, and despite my desire to hear the sound of my own voice, I tried to remain professional and leave answering the question to the panel the audience had actually come to see.
It did get me thinking as to how I would answer the question though. In truth I tied myself up in knots for a while. However, I didn’t have to wait long to come to a finalised view.
The focus of the event was to specifically look at the ways in which key players could cooperate to simplify the IPO documentation process on the Aquis Stock Exchange.
At the event, we were lucky enough to get a walk-through from the team at Scribestar – a platform designed to help with the co-operative process to produce key legal documents needed for financial transactions. The platform includes a special Aquis interface that streamlines the process for creating these documents.
Hearing their thoughts on how their platform can be used to improve current process was great, but what was most exciting to me was hearing about the natural extension of the platform in terms of data analytics that simply don’t exist at present. These could add material value to our ecosystem or advisers.
So there was my answer – it’s a circular set of three questions:
  1. How can I improve this process?
  2. Can it be further developed by using technology?
  3. How can these additional benefits be integrated?
And of course there must always be a focus on the end goal – disruption to solve and improve, rather than for its own sake.
So, what’s the latest at Aquis Stock Exchange?
Well, we have made huge progress in streamlining the admission process. Take our work with a platform like Scribestar for example, that has used advancements in technology to improve the creation of the admission document and help to project manage the whole process. As this is adopted more widely, opportunities will arise find previously unforeseen benefits or add additional value… and then we go again. This is how capital markets evolve.
Beyond the IPO, we have also made huge strides in our regulatory framework. Examples like removing class tests for acquisitions and banning short selling are measures to materially improve the public market environment for growth companies. There’s always more we can do.
Luckily, and to steal a snappy quote from my colleague at the event, “technology and innovation is in our DNA” and we have market leading technology that’s used around the world. So watch this space.
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