Only 29% of investment bankers think new rules have boosted IPOs

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON -- Only about three out of ten investment bankers think new federal rules intended to encourage startups have led to more initial public offerings, according to poll results released Tuesday.

The findings from BDO, an accounting and consulting company, cast doubt on the effectiveness of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act signed into law in April.

Known as the JOBS Act, the bipartisan legislation was designed to give small businesses more access to capital by easing rules on stock offerings.


But BDO’s survey of capital markets executives at leading investment banks found that only 29% believe the JOBS Act has been effective in increasing the number of IPOs. An earlier poll by the firm last summer showed 55% of investment bankers believed the legislation would increase IPOs.

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“The survey clearly shows that the investment banking community is less enthusiastic about the JOBS Act than it was immediately following the law’s enactment,” said Wendy Hambleton, a partner in BDO’s capital markets practice.

The new survey, conducted in December, also found that that 42% of investment banks have seen no evidence that the JOBS Act has been positive for IPOs, and 28% believe it is too early to tell.

Most of the respondents -- 80% -- said a provision in the law that allows companies to confidentially test the waters on IPOs has made it more difficult for them to advise their clients on those offerings. But just 9% said the problem was substantial.



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