I wanted to update you on my main objectives given my recent appointment as Chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance.
The Quoted Companies Alliance champions the interests of small and mid-size quoted companies. Over its life for the past 24 years, the QCA has heavily engaged with government, and the EU, so that unintended legislative change wasn’t put in place without challenge. And it has also successfully promoted improvements too, so that the advantages of a listing are more substantive. Removing stamp duty from AIM stocks, and permitting ISAs to invest in AIM stocks are the kinds of changes that Tim Ward and the team have been championing. The smallcap markets are a lot better off as a result of their work.
I am delighted to become Chairman at this time, since if anything, the QCA is likely to be even busier over the next few years. The fact is that following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union we can expect more legislative change than ever, made on a very tight timetable. It is now even more important that the various QCA expert groups are right on top of all of this change, since there is greater room for disappointment than usual.
My goal over the next couple of years is to raise the QCA’s profile so that we have the financial resource to cover this task well. Even before all this extra workload, the budget was tight. So a primary part of my role is to ensure that we gather the support of many more quoted companies via the subscription fee each year. As a member, anything that you can do to help the QCA widen its membership base would be greatly appreciated.
The QCA is already very well placed to monitor all the changes coming through in the markets. I believe that we have a really good opportunity to help members to adjust to new legislation and regulation easily and without undue expense. In addition, the QCA also has good engagement with many smaller company fund managers and can report as their preferences fluctuate in response to market and economic change. We hope to distil relevant information down to a few paragraphs that might be useful for inclusion in plc board papers of our members.
In short, I am delighted to provide additional support for an organisation that is already so effective. I hope I will continue to meet as many of you as possible over the coming months and years. In the meantime can I offer my best wishes for you over the coming trading periods.
*Gervais Williams became Chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance on 6 October 2016. He is also Managing Director at Miton Group plc, the independent listed fund management group and and is the Fund Manager of a number of funds that aggregate to over £1bn, including the recently launched Miton UK MicroCap Trust.