But Mullins says there is much more focus coming into Asia. “We can’t keep clinging to the US,” he says. “Attitudes are changing.” Alan Beasley, managing director at Ascend Asset Management, says formulaic and quantitative strategies have taken the art out of investing. “The markets are full of activity, but not much action,” he says. “Institutions trade among themselves without creating any real wealth. With seed capital and direction, Australia has demonstrated time and time again it can produce successful companies, especially in the bio-tech and medical industries. If Aptex can generate enough interest to help these companies raise capital, I think it’s a great initiative.”
Attempts to create a technology board in the past have failed, but Mullins says the NSX and Enterprise Pacific are building upon the mistakes of the past. “We are engaging a group of knowledgeable stakeholders: major broking groups; major accounting houses; lawyers; business associations such as the Ryde business forum; angel investors; and tertiary research groups. We are looking to actively engage financial planning groups, brokering houses, and launch marketing and education campaigns.
“On day one all the pieces won’t be there, but the plan to build upon them will be more robust than it has been in the past.” Mullins says the board will be ready to launch by the end of the year. Whether the markets will be ready for a technology exchange by then is another story. “We are preparing now, and companies can organise their compliance. When the market stabilises we will be ready.”