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Private shareholders “too often ignored”, says Asset Match boss

Asset Match research shows UK shareholders suffering from lack of attention and liquidity.

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Asset Match, an online auction platform private shareholdings, has unveiled new research into the frustrations of stocks and shares investors in the UK. The research reveals that, while confidence is high, investors are too often hamstrung by a lack of attention from company-owners and exit routes.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 9 per cent of Britain’s shareholders feel trapped by an inability to sell shares in a private company. Asset Match says that this equates to 600,000 frustrated investors.

The research suggests that many private company investors are suffering from a dearth of attention. 27 per cent of UK shareholders – the equivalent of 1.8m people – do not know the current value of their shareholdings, which Asset Match says is due to “dormant” investor relations.

The problems identified by this research are directly relevant to the nascent equity crowdfunding sector. The companies which crowdfunders facilitate investment in are for the most part privately owned, and the platforms themselves do not currently operate secondary markets.

Crowdfunding companies are certainly doing their bit to boost investor demand for UK shares, but Asset Match’s research suggests that the full extent of that demand is yet to be realised. The firm has found that 16 per cent of UK shareholders would like to invest in more high-growth businesses, but cannot because of an inability to sell their existing holdings.

“Demand among investors to buy shares in Britain’s exciting high-growth businesses is rising all the time, particularly as alternative finance, angel investment and crowdfunding become more prominent,” said Asset Match co-CEO Stuart Lucas. “However, this research uncovers a concerning problem being experienced by those who have already invested in these companies – namely, shareholders are too often ignored and pushed to one side.”

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