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IPO Advisory: What Is The Function of An IPO Advisor?

Traditionally, most functions of an Initial Public Offering have been handled through the use of a separate law firm and investment bank, two entities that provide the bulk of the professional services necessary for a company to transition from private to public. Nowadays, however, the market is so complex and moves so rapidly that a new entity has moved to the fore -- the IPO Advisor. While there are as many ways to handle IPO consulting as there are IPO advisory firms, they all basically hold one function in common. That is, they work on behalf of the private company to produce a full scale market evaluation that shows whether it is advantageous to go public -- and on what terms it should be done.

At a glance, an IPO Adviser might be thought of as similar to a business intelligence firm. This is a fair assessment at a glance -- but an IPO Advisors focus entirely and exclusively on assessing market conditions in terms of a Public Offering. They gather independent research data that encompasses the general market mood, how competitors are doing, overall economic trends, and many other pertinent factors. Moving forward in the process, they can also provide some of the services that have been traditionally associated with business law firms.

For example, IPO Advisers can handle the development of a defensible, data-backed valuation for a private company. Such a service can help with the development of the prospectus, the single most important document in the IPO process. Likewise, they can ensure that a company maintains strict regularly compliance with all of the different expectations that attend a new public company. This includes proper respect for the "quiet periods" and institution of a corporate governance structure that reflects the reporting guidelines outlined in federal Sarbanes-Oxley statutes.

Private companies tend to turn toward an IPO advisor if there is any doubt regarding the timing of an IPO or the value attached to it. While the majority of companies today do not yet use dedicated IPO advisory firm, these consultancies are becoming more common and will soon represent a large part of the IPO landscape.

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