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public versus private

TMX Broadcast Centre manager Kris Backus walks in front of the display board on May 16, 2011.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Two CEOs with a great deal of experience on the TSX Venture Exchange, a business owner, as well as an expert on entrepreneurial affairs who is a former exchange executive, provide a few tips on preparing to list.

• Round out your executive suite to include experience in capital markets.

• Get up-to-date audited financial statements.

• Have a clear investor relations strategy. "Map out your milestones and be sure to set clear and reasonable expectations in the minds of investors," says Andrew Rae, president and CEO of iCo Therapeutics. "Under promise and over deliver again and again."

• Be ready to divide your time between running your business and dealing with the oversight essential in a public listing.

• Pay attention to both retail and institutional investors. "Both parties provide wonderful support but also often display different investment philosophies," Mr. Rae says, "including their respective investment time horizons and risk tolerance profiles. Do not underestimate how important liquidity and momentum are to your success."

• Always focus on how you will expand to other jurisdictions, including the U.S. capital markets.

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