SEC chair explores reason behind major drop in IPOs

Attempts to find ways to make IPOs more attractive

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton wants to fix the drastic decline in initial public offerings, hoping to in turn give individual investors more access to smaller companies, according to an article in Reuters by Lisa Lambert.

Clayton explained in a speech last week that he is looking into why fewer companies are going public, an issue that housing is not immune from.

loanDepot attempted to go public back in 2015 but ended up pulling it due to adverse "market conditions." The company was scheduled to begin trading under the symbol LDI.

In the blog, loanDepot Chairman and CEO Anthony Hsieh commented on the recent volatility in the stock market with other companies that have gone public this year, such as Lending Club and OnDeck, which both went public within the last 12 months and are already trading down.

In the blog, Hsieh stated at the time:

We did a fantastic job and continue to build our franchise, even though timing in the IPO market isn’t right. loanDepot has many options as a successful profit-generating company, and the pursuit of an IPO was one option to accelerate our plans for growth that were already in progress. Unlike other IPO candidates, we’re already moving forward with our plans because of our capital reserves and the investor confidence we’ve earned beyond the IPO market. And while an IPO continues to be an option, perhaps one day in the future, it’s not a necessity.

The recent comments from Clayton reiterate this same problem. According to the article, “Last year IPOs in the United States fell by more than a third from 2015, and many of those 102 share offerings ended up trading below their debut price.”

From the article:

When companies stay private, they put possibly winning investments out of reach for smaller, individual investors, according to Clayton.

SEC staff is exploring ways to make going public more attractive while protecting investors, according to Clayton.

However, it’s important to note that earlier this year loanDepot was reported to once again be exploring the possibility of reviving a stock offering. So far, there are only rumors of a possible IPO, but when Hsieh originally announced the cancellation last year, he didn’t rule out the possibility of doing one in the future.

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