Techknow: The people and products shaping your future - State of the art - EPO.COM

Techknow: The people and products shaping your future - State of the art - EPO.COM - Years ago, pollsters predicted a period of 'aggressive self-sufficiency', in which citizens would feel a heightened need to look after their own financial future - rather

by HUNTER MADSEN
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Years ago, pollsters predicted a period of 'aggressive self-sufficiency', in which citizens would feel a heightened need to look after their own financial future - rather than trust the lottery or government - coupled with optimism about their competence to do so. When that trend crossed the internet, we got an explosion in individual investing online. Inevitably, bullish investors demanded 'retail IPOs' - the chance to participate in initial public offerings hitherto open only to large institutional investors.

Enter EPO.com, which aims to become the leading European online investment bank for electronic public offerings by conducting 'digital road shows', posting paperless prospectuses and distributing shares to the little guy. EPO.com was founded two years ago in Sweden, but now operates in nine countries. It has offered more than 40 issues to date and claims to have 150,000 investors registered.

Its web sites are no-fuss affairs, cleanly presented and sensibly organised. A visitor is whisked to the 'News' page - hype for EPO.com's next hot offering - but additional info and services require registration, a debit card and a nominee share account. It's a well-run shop.

Now the question is: are European investors sufficiently aggressive to ignore the cold draught in recent IPO failures blowing eastward from the States?

Hunter Madsen huntermadsen@hotmail.com.

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