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Petrie gives evidence on UK National Security and Investment Bill

David Petrie, ICAEW’s head of corporate finance, has made significant contribution on behalf of ICAEW and Corporate Finance Faculty members to the UK government’s major consultation about its National Security and Investment Bill.

The bill will affect non-UK acquirers and investors’ companies in a wide range of industrial sectors. In November 2020, Petrie appeared online before parliament’s Public Bill Committee. In a follow-up letter to Nadhim Zahawi, minister for business and industry, Petrie emphasised the key points he made in his evidence.

He said: “The most important of my recommendations was to make the market as informed as possible.” He also told government ministers that the newly created Investment Security Unit (ISU) at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy would need to be adequately resourced in order to deal with the large number of mandatory notifications that would be a consequence of the new legislation.

Petrie argued that the ISU should be proactive by engaging in “meaningful” pre-consultations and issue informative market guidance notes modelled on the notes that accompany the Takeover Code. “These guidance notes would help inform market participants about what they could be doing to make sure this new process works with more certainty, speed, clarity and transparency – things that financial markets need to see.”

Katerina Joannou, ICAEW’s capital markets manager, submitted the Institute’s formal response to the consultation on 6 January 2021.