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Career Lifeline In Family Firms For Women Missing Out On IPO Fundraising


Women are missing out on the top jobs in firms launching on the stock market but are taking a much bigger role in the £575 billion family business sector, new analysis from Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) shows.


Just one in six (16%) of directors at companies which completed IPOs in 2023 are women, the analysis by Investec Wealth & Investment (UK), which is part of Rathbones Group, found. However, its research among the UK’s largest family businesses shows women hold 30% of the senior roles.


Data for 2023 shows 23 companies completed IPOs on the London Stock Exchange raising £1 billion from new and existing shareholders. Those companies list 121 directors, of which just 19 are women.


Only three of the women have senior titles including chair, chairwoman of the board of directors and deputy general manager and CFO. The other 16 are non-executive directors.

However, in the family business sector – which contributes around £575 billion to the UK economy employing 13.9 million and accounting for nearly 86% of all UK private sector businesses – women play a much bigger role and could be involved in more stock market flotations as a result.


Investec Wealth & Investment’s research with family businesses, which have an average annual turnover of £7.81 million, found women make up 30% of senior roles.


They should become more involved with IPOs as stock market flotations are becoming increasingly popular among family businesses. Around one in three (33%) large family businesses are considering selling to outsiders as part of their exit plan, the study found.


The most popular route is a sale to private investors such as private equity or venture capital which is preferred by 17% while 9% are considering a trade sale and 7% are looking to become publicly listed through an IPO.


Tamara Marten, Senior Investment Director at Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) said: “In contrast to firms which have completed IPOs in 2023, where women were under-represented in senior roles, family businesses have significant female representation in senior executive positions."


“Family businesses offer a way for more women to become involved in IPOs and to access the wealth that can be released when a company is launched on the stock market."


“The wealth created by family businesses is a key contributor to the UK economy and these firms in turn are major employers in the private sector. Family-run and founded companies offer women influential roles and are playing a key role in creating wealth for families and staff.”

As one of the UK’s leading discretionary wealth managers, Investec Wealth & Management (UK), part of Rathbones Group PLC, focuses on a relationship-based approach to Financial Planning and Investment Management with the purpose of making a tangible and meaningful difference to clients and their families.


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