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UK needs to back young tech, says finnCap boss Sam Smith

·2-min read
The City could be a hub for life sciences (PA Archive)
The City could be a hub for life sciences (PA Archive)

THE UK needs to do more to back young tech firms and entrepreneurs and shift its focus away from big business, says finnCap chief executive Sam Smith.

The banker who has built the broker into a fully fledged adviser and M&A expert today reported income for the year to March up 84% to £48 million. Fees from deals more than doubled to £33 million and finnCap has been snapping up banking talent as it looks to expand from its new offices in St Paul’s.

She said: “Tech businesses are going to be the future, we need them to be here. We need more tech listings bluntly, that means you have more analysts following the stocks, which means more specialist funds. Which means better valuations for more money – it’s really, really important.”

London has been criticised as too sluggish from a regulatory point of view to attract tech listings by entrepreneurs who want to keep control of their business and therefore choose New York instead.

“The government needs to support ambition in its own right. There is too much focus on big business,” she added. “SMEs are the future, that is where millennials want to go and work, they are the firms who are doing the right things with tech disruption and ESG.”

Smith says of 150 staff around half are back in the office, with “core days” the future of a flexible working environment.

The dividend has near doubled to 1.5p and should keep growing. The pipeline of deals is strong, and “everyone looks like they are into M&A,” said Smith.

She wants “deregulation to make it easier for SMEs to grow, there is too much red tape”.

She notes that finnCap has been in the life sciences market for 14 years, “13 of which were very difficult…the UK could be amazing at it if we go for it”.

FinnCap shares were steady at 41p.

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