Italy Leads The U.S. — In Equity Crowdfunding
The following guest post is by David Drake, founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a New York City private-equity firm, and of The Soho Loft Capital Creation Events series, a global events and media company.
Last March 29, Italy’s Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), the equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US, submitted requests for public commenting on the equity crowdfunding rules currently considered. It seems that Italy will surpass the JOBS Act in the implementation of the first equity crowdfunding law in the world.
One of the leading business angels in Milan, Alberto Giusti, commented that this crowdfund equity proposal has some limitations. “The definitions are not fully settled but right now only ‘innovative startups’ can be considered so brick and mortar businesses do not apply,” says Giusti. He adds that firms that control the Internet portals conducting crowdfunding investments have to be a financial entity SpA Societa per Azioni – roughly the US equivalent of an Incorporation) or a bank registered and monitored by CONSOB as these offer the highest corporate control structures. Furthermore, a financial entity registered by CONSOB must have first invested at least 5% in an offering for it to qualify to be crowd funded for equity.
Andrea Albanese, a social network and web marketing advisor who manages the largest Italian Marketing Association consisting of 9,840 social media member experts, feels that this is an opportune time for Italy to take the lead and export the “sensa Italia” and lead technology services into the kind of excellence that Italian brands have always been known to exude. Albanese will be attending the crowdfund investor conference at the Innovative Investing Symposium 2013 in Boston this week at Thomson Reuters to develop those partnerships and discuss the changes occurring in Italy that could benefit US companies.
It seems very plausible that Italy will be the first country in the world to implement a new crowdfunding for equity law way ahead of the promising US law. This could tend to export US talents and companies from US markets to accomplish what was promised by the JOBS Act that President Obama signed.
US crowdfunders need to realize that equity crowdfunding is a securities law and we are being steamrolled on implementation without even knowing it because few of the crowdfunders for equity understand the securities laws and forces thwarting it. Italy seems to have a fresher momentum to take the crown and implement a working and functional equity crowdfunding law – the first in the world; thereby, making financial history.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic. You can comment here or reach out to me at David@LDJCapital.com directly.