The UK Government, through HM Treasury, proposed a framework for a Private Intermittent Securities and Capital Exchange System (PISCES). The consultation on this proposal, which ran from March to April 2024, received feedback from various parties including Mishcon, a leading law firm, and the Quoted Companies Alliance’s legal expert committee. Mishcon’s response, grounded in feedback from clients and intermediaries, highlighted key areas needing attention for the framework to be effective. These include the eligibility criteria for participants which consider allowing professional investors, high net-worth individuals, and potentially employees through Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) and Share Incentive Plans (SIPs). Tax implications, particularly concerning stamp taxes and PAYE, were also flagged. The necessity for freely transferable shares raises concerns about lifting restrictions on share transfers, possibly necessitating legislative changes. Additionally, Mishcon emphasized the need for robust market abuse regulations and adequate disclosures, suggesting that guidance similar to the FCA’s rules be applied to PISCES to mitigate market abuse risks. The successful implementation of PISCES could provide better liquidity for private companies and more opportunities for investors.

Private Equity, Regulatory Compliance, Legal Advisory,United Kingdom