An interview with NASDAQ exec Adam Kostyál about Europe’s potential for future tech IPOs

Adam Kostyál nasdaq

At the recent 4YFN conference in Barcelona, caught up with Adam Kostyál, SVP of the Global Corporate Client Group and head of European Listings for NASDAQ OMX.

NASDAQ has stock exchanges across the Nordic countries in Europe, but the company is also looking at getting high-growth companies to list in the United States as soon as they’re ready for an IPO.

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Kostyál’s job is basically to keep tabs on Europe’s tech IPO candidates (the likes of Spotify, Klarna and Skyscanner) and to help them figure out where and when to list – if they pick NASDAQ – and how they can prepare.

In the interview, Kostyál talks about the IPO activity in 2014, a record year for NASDAQ since 2000, during which 22 European companies listed on its US stock exchange.

He successfully dodged my question on which specific European tech companies he’s currently watching closely, mentioning only that it’s interesting to see how many of them are ‘delivering’ and maturing to a size where it makes sense for them to consider an IPO.

Kostyál said he expects more sectors to produce ‘publicly listable’ companies outside of e-commerce, naming fintech as the most interesting category at present.

Interestingly, Kostyál doesn’t expect 2015 to be as strong a year as 2014 in terms of IPOs, but says it still has all the ingredients to make for an active and interesting year.

The NASDAQ executive also talked about a recently launched initiative called Private Market, which essentially allows private companies to digitize, integrate, and control all of their equity-related functions before pursuing an IPO or an M&A transaction, or raising more capital to stay private for longer than companies used to in the past.

NASDAQ Private Market isn’t restricted geographically speaking, so it will be interesting to see if the equity services provider attracts many European tech startups in the future.

In the interview, Kostyál also talked about the recent IPOs of Zalando and Rocket Internet (both went public on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) and in which geographies within Europe he particularly keeps tabs on emerging and fast-growing technology companies.

Featured image credit: EML / Shutterstock

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