Tim Babcock, the vice president and head of the TSX Venture Exchange, was recently interviewed by John Lothian News about TSX’s Venture Forward initiative, which is designed to strengthen Canada’s public venture market, the foundation of the country’s capital formation ecosystem.
Babcock began by reviewing with JLN the two-tier structure of the Canadian markets and then spoke about four key initiatives of the Venture Forward plans.
TSX embarked on a survey of its community of stakeholders, including online surveys. After digesting and discerning the data, TSX conducted over 100 one-on-one interviews and small group conversations to probe into the themes they discovered from the online surveys, Babcock said. TSX was looking for ways to address both the challenges that exist in the market and the opportunities, he said.
What TSX heard was that the “market was not broken,” but there were opportunities for TSX to do more for its issuers and market users. The biggest issue they heard about was speed, particularly around the “go public” process.
Another theme was transparency and a third was increasing the visibility of issuers to investors, Babcock said. Lastly, how does TSX bring more companies to their ecosystem? All of these themes brought forth the Venture Forward Initiatives report released in June, with 10 commitments. He addressed the four key action steps in the interview.
Venture Forward includes “introducing an innovative TSXV Passport Listing Process to significantly accelerate the listing and capital-raising timeline for qualified TSXV new listing applicants” and “accelerating the exchange’s ongoing digital transformation by providing issuers with increased access to digital products, services, and resources.”
Babcock also spoke about “launching TSXV Sandbox, an initiative to encourage innovation and provide support for listing unique businesses or transaction structures” and “evaluating the need and appetite for a new, highly differentiated exchange to complement TSXV, with the goal of providing new categories of early-stage companies, alternative asset classes, and investors with access to public markets.”