Feb 01 2019

Public Markets for the Long Term: How Successful Listed Companies Thrive

By some accounts, public markets are out of fashion. Detractors point to the decline of IPOs in developed economies and the growth of private capital pools over the last few years. But these trends tell only one side of the story. Private markets are doing well, but their success does not suggest the decline of public markets.
Public markets continue to be an essential driver of wealth creation, innovation, and capital stability for high-performing companies. Despite the short-term pressures of public markets, the best-managed companies can and do take advantage of the benefits public markets have to offer. For companies playing at the highest level, public markets remain an integral element of their long-term growth.

Today, some suggest that public markets have lost their luster. Private capital stands at record levels, including uncommitted “dry powder” that indicates the global oversupply of such funds. More notably for public markets’ detractors, the success of venture capital-funded unicorns (those with valuations over $1 billion) suggests to some that public markets are an anachronism. If Uber, Airbnb, and the like can make a go of it without the rigorous discipline of public market funding, why should anyone else? If anything, they say, the era of public markets is over.

What does this mean for companies that seek to take advantage of these benefits but resist the short-term pressures that public markets can bring? By targeting the right shareholders with a long-term mindset, building a focused board that will support long-term growth, and retaining their pre-IPO “ownership mindset,” companies can reap the benefits of public listing while avoiding its pitfalls. By employing these tools, public markets can and will remain an indispensable element of long-term growth for the most successful companies.

Public markets are an essential driver of wealth creation, innovation, and capital stability for high-performing companies. However, publicly listed companies often feel pressure to be short-term oriented. The best-managed companies both take advantage of the benefits public markets have to offer and maintain their long-term focus, often by employing the following tools:


Keywords: Governance & Culture