One of your most important tasks as a public company is to keep investors interested and satisfy their requests for information. Your company will be under ongoing pressure from both analysts and investors, but you should be cautious about how you release information. Analysts can be your link to investors, so you’ll need to be ready to deal with their requests and ensure you comply with full disclosure regulations.
It’s important to have people who understand investor relations carefully manage the process on an ongoing basis. You may want to look at hiring an investor relations manager on either an in-house or contracted basis to help ensure you’re projecting a strong and consistent image. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Ensure investors understand your investment proposition and the factors and risks that influence your business decisions. But also make sure you’re meeting enough of the right type of investors.
Are you ready for internal control compliance from the first day?
Do you understand your financial reporting deadlines?
Do you know what your peers disclose and when?
Can you adapt quickly to changes in rules and accounting standards?
Do you have a framework for ongoing training and development of staff?
Are you delivering against IPO promises?
Are you ready for sustainability reporting?
Is senior management actively involved in managing the share price?
These are the reports, forms, statements and other documents that you must make publicly available after the IPO. With financial statements and management discussion and analysis (MD&A), there are different requirements for non-venture and venture exchanges.
Non-venture exchanges (the TSX and NEO) require annual audited statements within 90 days of each financial year and quarterly statements within 45 days of the end of the quarter. You must file an annual information form each year. Venture exchanges (the TSX-V and CSE) require annual audited statements within 120 days of each financial year and quarterly statements within 60 days of the end of the quarter. An annual information form is filed on a discretionary basis.
Other public filings include:
Press releases: Required immediately upon a material change (a material change report is required within 10 days)
Selective disclosure: Prohibited under Canadian securities law under insider trading and tipping laws
Material information: Required disclosure for all material information
Information circular: Prepared and sent to shareholders in connection with the solicitation of proxies for a meeting of shareholders
As a new public company listed on the TSX or NEO, the CEO and CFO must comply with National Instrument 52-109, which includes quarterly and annual certifications. They must certify that they:
appropriately designed disclosure controls and procedures (DC&P) and evaluate operating effectiveness on an annual basis
appropriately designed internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) and evaluate operating effectiveness on an annual basis
disclosed in their MD&A the conclusions stemming from the evaluation of the effectiveness of the DC&P and ICFR, any material changes relating to the ICFR and any material weaknesses relating to the DC&P and ICFR
Compliance timelines following a public listing (DC&P and ICFR):
While internal controls often focus more on transactions, it’s also important for the board to have corporate governance policies. Is there an insider trading policy? Is there a formal process to delegate authority? Are there approval limits that delegate authority from the board to management? How will you keep shareholders updated on corporate governance matters? These questions are essential in the ongoing operations of your public company.