The news that London listed big data firm WANdisco is eyeing New York to create a dual listing is a reminder of the City’s struggles to attract tech companies.
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at interactive investor, says London is not facing a ‘mass exodus’, but points out that recent technology floats have struggled:
“According to Sky News, it has hired bankers from Evercore Partners to help with the preparations. WANdisco’s chairman and CEO David Richards first discussed the possibility of a US listing in 2017.
“The news comes after Arm Holdings abandoned London as a potential location for its IPO, FTSE 100 building business CRH also said it was planning to list in the US and Flutter was considering a secondary listing in New York. This has raised concerns about a potential flight of listed businesses away from the London Stock Exchange post Brexit to the United States. However we are far from seeing a mass exodus from the London market as of yet. The City has so far managed to preserve its position as Europe’s leading global financial hub.
“One of the biggest challenges for the UK market has been its struggle to attract tech giants. New York continues to be the go-to destination for tech behemoths with the Nasdaq boasting giants like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. While the FTSE 100 enjoyed relative resilience last year in part thanks to its shortage of tech stocks, this has long been a criticism and meant that the UK large-cap index missed out on the gains enjoyed stateside from the tech boom prior to 2022.
“There have been some high-profile tech disasters in London including Deliveroo’s calamitous IPO and THG’s share price slide, adding to the sense of caution towards the UK among tech businesses deciding where to list.”