The differing perspectives on the UK’s equity markets

For quoted companies and investors alike, 2021 was marked by a mix of new and continuing themes. While the shadow of the pandemic continued to hover over global economies and societies, the rollout of vaccination programmes helped markets look ahead and beyond.

Testament to this, the storming recovery of UK M&A continued apace through 2021, with record IPO volumes across the year seeing more company listings on the London Stock Exchange than in the two previous years combined. All the while cash-rich private equity continued to splurge on UK-listed companies, taking advantage of valuations that remain at significant discounts to global peers.


This years’ QCA/ Peel Hunt mid & small Cap Survey has again shown how mid and small-caps have demonstrated their resilience and found support from the public markets. However there an increasing disparity between investors and companies on how attractive these markets are and how much their attractiveness has improved over the last 12 months.

The survey highlights

63% of investors whilst only 45% of companies think the UK market is attractive.
- 50% of investors think the attractiveness of the UK market has improved over the last 12 months, but only 30% of companies think it has improved.
- 41% of investors believed ESG funds will have a positive impact on the overall attractiveness of public markets for private companies, compared to 36% of companies
- Over the past 3 years, investors viewed capital market days as the best way for companies to improve their visibility
- For both investors and companies, the most frequently cited concern faced by small and mid-caps continues to be around liquidity and supply chains
- Investors vary on how the definition of a small and mid-sized company should be calibrated; a quarter each say the maximum level should be £500m and £1b. Companies generally skew towards lower amounts on this question when compared to investors.