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FinnCap: London is good and bad for growth funding

The chief executive of a leading mid-market London broker reckons there are more funding opportunities than ever for small and medium-sized UK firms, in spite of the pandemic. But she still wants changes to London’s listing rules.

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Sam Smith, CEO of London-based broker finnCap, has spent all her career thinking about how best to get access to funding for small and medium-sized companies. And, despite the coronavirus pandemic and the constant refrain of London’s unattractiveness to growth companies, she thinks there has never been a better time to raise funds.

Smith has plenty of perspective to back up that view. More than 20 years ago she was tasked to build a corporate finance function within JM Finn, at the age of 23. Back then, the firm was still branded as a broker rather than with the investment management focus that it now has.

In 2007, with 28 staff and 28 clients on the books, she and her team bought out half of the business from JM Finn for £1 million and rebranded as finnCap.

“Our whole ethos was how do you go about making a small company feel important – is there a marketplace for someone who puts empathy with the client at the top of the list and really helps them move to the next event in their life?” she says.

Our whole ethos was how do you go about making a small company feel important
Sam Smith

That empathy extended to finnCap’s own staff, with their treatment just as important to Smith as the relationship with clients.

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Mark Baker is Deputy Editor. Prior to joining Euromoney magazine he was based in Hong Kong as managing editor, Asia, for the Capital Markets Group. He previously edited EuroWeek magazine and was also deputy editor at International Financing Review.
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