The results of Edelman Smithfield’s most recent Investor Pulse survey paint a clear picture of expectations for a U.S. IPO market that is poised for recovery. Download a copy of the report to understand more about how investors are assessing quality investments in today’s environment. Findings include:

  • A significant increase in appetite from investors for new issuers, even when compared with the unprecedented IPO boom in 2020-2021 
  • Notable new parameters for evaluating quality investments
  • Valuation is being driven by EBITDA, with free cash flow becoming increasingly important 
  • The importance of new shareholder engagement within the first year of being public

Participants included more than 100 U.S. investors, including chief investment officers, portfolio managers and buy-side analysts, who are directly responsible for or directly contributing to decisions regarding an institution’s investable assets. Of the participating investors, at least 50% work for investment firms with assets under management of $50bn or more.

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How Investors are Currently Defining Quality


Low Leverage

Investor appetite for highly levered companies has dropped significantly since 2021



Balanced Financial Profile

While current profitability is not required, quality of future earnings remains critical to evaluating future performance; free cash flow has also become more important for valuing opportunities



Limited Private Ownership

Despite aversion to high debt levels, investors rank paydown of equity sponsorship above debt repayment when it comes to uses of capital



Strong Governance

Board structure is top of mind for investors with recent Board refreshment and Board diversity named as top attractors



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