Expanding the On-Ramp: Recommendations to Help More Companies Go and Stay Public
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation 2018-05-25
In April, eight organizations—the American Securities Association, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Equity Dealers of America, Nasdaq, National Venture Capital Association, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, TechNet, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce—released a report that included 22 recommendations for how to help more companies in the United States go and stay public. This report and recommendations stem from the shared concern of these organizations that the public company model has failed to keep up with the times, constituting a significant threat to long term economic growth and job creation.
In recent years, the steady decline in the number of U.S.-listed public companies has garnered the attention and concern of both market participants and policymakers. The United States is now home to roughly half the number of public companies that existed twenty years ago, while the overall number of public companies is little changed from 1982.  While the initial public offering (IPO) market has rebounded in recent years from its depths around the financial crisis, annual IPOs are still a fraction of what they were in the 1980s or 1990s.