Clive Watson, co-founder and executive chairman of The City Pub Company, which featured on Fast Track 100 in 2016 before it floated on AIM in 2017 speaks at our Fast Track 100 and Tech Track 100 alumni dinner for entrepreneurs in London. The dinner was co-hosted by Tim Cockroft, founder and chief executive of N+1 Singer, and Fast Track’s founder Hamish Stevenson.
The City Pub Company co-founder shared his experience of successfully leading 3 IPOs
Clive Watson, co-founder and executive chairman of The City Pub Company, spoke about the key lessons he has learned from successfully floating three companies, including The City Pub Company, which featured on Fast Track 100 in 2016 before it floated on AIM in 2017 valued at £90m, and is now valued at £126m.
Clive’s key lessons include:
- Have a distinct story to tell investors – three years of successful trading and an appealing business plan really helps
- Get the company in shape – hire a strong management for the business you want to have in three-years-time; secure key supplier contracts
- Appoint non-executives – they are useful sounding boards
- Select the right Nomad and broker – study their track record of handling IPOs to judge their ability to sell your business to institutions; nail down your pre-IPO valuation, share options and remuneration
- Embrace the analysts – they can have good ideas about how best to present your company’s performance
- Don’t worry about world stock markets – stick to your five-year plan; don’t over-promise or play the market
He was speaking at our invitation-only Fast Track 100 and Tech Track 100 alumni dinner for entrepreneurs at The Landmark London. He discussed the benefits of raising capital on the public markets compared with private equity, which he said included the ability to reward existing shareholders with an exit, attract new institutional shareholders, and motivate key staff with attractive share options. He drew on his experiences from floating two other companies: The Capital Pub Company, which joined AIM in June 2007, valued at £32m, just before the financial crisis hit, and was sold to Greene King for £70m in 2011; and Regent Inns, which floated in 1993 when he was finance director.
Clive shared his story with founders and chief executives from 14 companies, including CMR Surgical, Depop, Milk Visual Effects, Ocee International, thoughtonomy and PsiOxus.
Two guests spoke to us about key events in their businesses. Martin Frost, the co-founder and chief executive of CMR Surgical, which is developing a surgical robot that mimics the movements of the human arm for keyhole surgery, explained what he had learnt from raising a $100m Series B funding round in 2018.
Will Cohen, co-founder and chief executive of Milk Visual Effects, the studio that has BAFTAs for its work on Doctor Who, as well as an Oscar for Ex Machina, spoke of his concern about the risk of losing talented staff as a result of Brexit.
A word from our sponsor
Guests enjoyed the networking drinks and dinner with representatives from N+1 Singer and their achievements were recognised by Tim Cockroft, founder and chief executive of N+1 Singer. He said: “Despite everything, we are in an amazing period of time. We have a great, entrepreneurial society, growth companies have plenty of funding options, and we are going to see lots of activity in the next few years”.
More information on the Fast Track 100 and Tech Track 100
For information about our alumni dinners and opportunities for sponsors, visit our sponsorship page: https://www.fasttrack.co.uk/sponsorship/