The market forces we see in the United States are just as active in Europe.
While technology and life sciences markets are expanding, they are increasingly competing with general industry companies for talent due to a converging need for specialized skills that, until now, were mostly limited to tech companies, such as cyber security, software engineering, data science and research specialists. As a result, our clients in Europe are focused on creating compelling rewards packages and innovative workforce opportunities. In the following sections, we discuss some of these organizations' biggest challenges and opportunities today.
A Strong Venture-Backed Startup Scene
While the uncertainty created by Brexit is still casting a shadow on the business community (which we discuss in greater detail below), it isn’t slowing down growth in London’s startup scene. Venture capital investment in the UK reached an all-time high of £2.99 billion ($4.18 billion in US dollars). That’s almost double the amount of investment from 2016, according to data compiled by Pitchbook for the lobby group London & Partners. Another impressive statistic: Tech firms in the UK attracted more investment from VC firms compared to Germany, France, Spain and Ireland combined last year.
As many of these companies prepare for growth, they are looking at what they need to do to get their compensation programs and governance frameworks ready for their next phase. Many of our European pre-IPO clients are interested in knowing what the benchmarks are for equity practices in the US, especially if they are considering listing on a US exchange and/or hiring talent from overseas. Figures A shows the differences in equity practices among newly public European vs. US companies.
Outstanding Equity (Including IPO Awards) at IPO