Maui Company Surveys Hawaii Stock Exchange Interest
By Sonia Isotov
Local Maui business development firm, Maui Venture Consulting, LLC, and key partner of the Friends of the Hawaii Local Exchange, is conducting a survey to explore interest in developing a Hawaii Local (Stock) Exchange.
Earlier this year, the Hawaii Legislature asked the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to create a study group to investigate what would be needed to bring back a Hawaii local exchange and to provide guidance on what this would look like. As a result, the public is being asked to provide input by responding to one of three surveys available for retail investors, accredited investors, and business owners/managers/advisers.
Back in December 2010, David Fisher, Maui Venture Consulting, LLC, members of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, Hawaii Angels, a Hawaii-based investment network, and others put forward a white paper/proposal that outlined the reasons a local stock exchange would bring investors and investment opportunities to Hawaii business and suggested the formation of a working group as the next step.
“In short, while a local exchange will only be appropriate for a small number of businesses, I think it will enliven the whole entrepreneurial eco-system. Angel investors will be more likely to invest if they think there is a possibility of cashing out when a company they invest in ‘goes public,’ entrepreneurs will put in the ‘sweat equity’ if they know there are angel investors, and they can raise small amounts through the new crowd sourcing tools,” explained David Fisher, Maui Venture Consulting, LLC. “It is actually very exciting and hopeful. I have been at this [business development consulting] for 30 years and have always been puzzled by the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. It is really only in the last years that it has been so in our faces that it has been clear what is needed.”
And in that vein, Fisher has put together the following surveys to gauge the interested:
- Survey for Retail Investors – Anyone who has/had money invested in the national stock market, either via their employer’s retirement program, a mutual fund, a traditional stock broker (e.g. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney) or through a discount broker (e.g. Charles Schwab).
- Survey for Accredited Investors – Those able to invest in privately offered investments. To be eligible to do so, one must have more than $1 million in assets or have annual income exceeding an average greater than $500k over the last three years – as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Survey for Business Owners/Managers/Advisers – Companies that need to raise capital over the next ten years and would consider doing so through a direct public offering of stock or debt. If a company lists on the public area of a Hawaii exchange, it would become a public company and would be required to meet some of the requirements of the SEC – local exchanges are exempt from some (but not all) of the requirements of public companies on national exchanges.
Find the surveys and further background information the Hawaii stock exchange project online at http://HILocalExchange.org.