Despite the recent market volatility that’s pushed the S&P 500 down 8 percent since mid-September, technology companies headed for the IPO markets have yet to adjust their plans, according to Noah Wintroub, vice chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase who oversees tech investment banking in San Francisco.
“At J.P. Morgan we haven’t seen anybody change their view of their timing or expectations based on the markets,” said Wintroub, in an interview with CNBC on Monday from the firm’s [r]Evolution conference, which is focused on private and public technology companies. “We’ll continue to see what happens in 2019, what happens on a macro basis, what the market is doing, and if the market is super volatile, people may change their plans.”
Wintroub said that there’s generally about a six-month lag from the time a company decides to go public and the actual IPO, and in that time conditions can certainly change. But for larger more established companies, those swings tend to be a “little less relevant” than for smaller companies with less mature businesses, he said.
Next year is gearing up to be a banner year for tech IPOs, with Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest and Slack all indicating that they may be preparing for upcoming debuts. On Thursday, Lyft said it had filed a confidential prospectus, setting the stage for an IPO. CNBC reported in October that Lyft hired J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Jefferies to manage the deal, which is expected to take place in early 2019.
Wintroub declined to speak about specific clients.
He said tech’s position in the spotlight this year has marked a “critical moment for our community.” Privacy and safety concerns, platform manipulation and the #MeToo movement have all hit the industry, and employees at companies including Google and Facebook have been vocal in protesting certain practices by their employers.
“When you are doing great things but have a lot of power concentrated, we have to be careful about how we build our communities, how we empower other people and how we’re conscious of the impact we have,” Wintroub said.