Challenging year for IPOs, but 2017 will be great

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Things aren't expected to get better for IPOs this year, but 2017 is ramping up to be a great year, EY's Jackie Kelley said.

This year has been challenging for companies who want to go public , and it isn't expected to get any better, according to Jackie Kelley, IPO markets leader for EY Americas.

So far this quarter only 32 companies have gone public, compared with 72 in the second quarter last year, according to EY.

"This may be the best quarter we're going to see this year," she said in an interview with CNBC's " Closing Bell ."

"We knew coming into this year it would be a challenging year. We saw headwinds already from elections, interest rates we didn't have any decisions on, and those are still looming over us."

Then the year started out with volatility, and now the Brexit vote is weighing on the market, Kelley added.

However, she's much more optimistic about next year, thanks to so-called unicorns waiting in the wings. Unicorns are privately funded start-ups valued at $1 billion or more.

"IPOs are going to be back in favor," she predicted. "We're really looking at 2017, ramping up 2017 for a great IPO year."

Kelley works with companies preparing to go public, making sure the valuations are there and are supported by a strong business.

"We're going to open up to a market that is going to be nice and stable, hopefully, cross our fingers, and that's going to be a really good platform for IPOs — low volatility, not a lot of headwinds," she said.

— CNBC's Laura Petti contributed to this report.

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