Every company produces documents, the amount depending on the size, type, and industry a company operates in. Most business documents are created for financial, legal, or regulatory requirements. Some are business-critical, created for specific audiences, and need to convey the integrity and professionalism of the company that produced them.
This is an important consideration in investor and shareholder communications. Effective communication with key stakeholders is critical for companies striving to maximise their long-term value. Companies need to demonstrate their credibility and make a positive impression on these audiences, especially when seeking to raise capital from shareholders and new or existing investors to achieve their growth, development, or acquisition objectives. Documents produced in order to raise corporate finance require a huge amount of attention to detail to ensure the accuracy of content and the professionalism of their presentation. This is why companies involved in corporate financial activity invariably turn to a specialist typesetting service to produce their documents.
What is typesetting?
The way information is formatted on a page can make a huge difference to readers. Typesetting is the process of arranging the text of a document to optimise its readability and make it look professionally produced and aesthetically pleasing. This requires a great deal of skill and judgement in deciding which fonts to use, the size of fonts for text and headings, the extent of margins, how much white space to allow, manipulating the spacing between words, lines, and paragraphs for optimal readability, aligning the text on a page, making sure lines and pages don’t break in awkward places, and combining these factors consistently. It takes considerable judgement to fit the right amount of information onto a page so the reader can easily process it.
In the document creation process, typesetting turns a document from an initial draft into the final version, ready for printing or online publication. For hundreds of years, typesetting prepared documents for printing, but now computer-based typesetting has a far broader range of capabilities, enabling documents to be produced in various digital and electronic formats, as well as printed copies, for wide distribution. The typesetting rules for producing readable and polished documents remain the same, whichever publication method is chosen.
Typesetting is an underestimated skill because it is ‘invisible’: it enables readers to concentrate on what they are reading without being distracted by inconsistent layout, poor styling, or spelling and grammatical mistakes. A professionally typeset document demonstrates the degree of care a company takes to ensure the readability and accuracy of documents for its most valuable audiences.
The advantages of a specialist typesetting service
A professional typesetting service can add value to any type of document, especially those that must be produced professionally, accurately, and quickly. In some business areas, security is a paramount requirement, too. This is particularly the case in corporate finance activity, where documents contain highly confidential and sensitive information.
Corporate finance activity generates an extensive range of documents, including rights issues, main market IPO prospectuses, EGM circulars, AIM admission documents, disposals, placings, open offers, offers for subscription, and all the documentation required for mergers and acquisitions. Annual reports are a flagship document that informs shareholders of the company’s strategy and aims to attract new investors. Each document has its own time-critical schedule and will often undergo several iterations or proof stages before it is approved for publication. Complex content is scrutinised and amended at every stage by multiple specialist reviewers, such as senior company managers, lawyers, accountants, financiers, and investors and their advisers. Companies involved in corporate financial activity turn to established typesetting services to ensure the three key criteria of speed, accuracy and security are consistently achieved.
Speed, accuracy, and security
These three conditions must be continuously met at every document creation, distribution, approval, and publication stage.
Speed: Corporate finance transactions must be completed by specific deadlines. This puts huge pressure on the document creation process. There are normally several proofing stages where comments and amendments of multiple reviewers are sent to typesetters to incorporate into the document. A fast turnaround at each proofing stage is necessary for a clean, revised version of the document to be returned to reviewers as quickly as possible. A specialist typesetting service will have the resources to work overnight if required. This proofing process is repeated until the document is approved and the typesetters can then prepare it for publication.
Accuracy: There is a great dependence on the accuracy of documents. The published document must exactly replicate the final, approved version, and proofs must be accurate to avoid delays. Each proofing stage relies heavily on the skill and experience of typesetters to incorporate the comments and amendments of multiple reviewers into the documents. The volume of amendments can be extensive and sent to the typesetters in several ways: comments written on paper copies, PDF annotations, instructions sent by email and any combination of these. Typesetters need to correctly interpret comments and accurately apply them while maintaining the layout of the document.
An efficient typesetting service will ‘read’ the proof as a quality check before it is returned. Reading eliminates any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in layout, aesthetics, spelling, or grammar to enable reviewers to focus on the revised content. Specialised typesetting technology will be utilised, such as PDF version comparison, blacklining, and strikethroughs, to help reviewers to track their changes.
Security: It is essential that the confidential information contained in documents is kept secure, especially when they are amended and distributed during the proofing stages. An information leak can seriously jeopardise a corporate finance transaction, tarnish relations with investors, shareholders and parties involved in the transaction, breach FCA regulatory rules, and cause long-term damage to a company’s reputation. Top typesetting services provide highly secure working conditions.
Experience and an in-depth understanding of the requirements of corporate finance activity and the documents involved are invaluable attributes in ensuring even the most challenging and complicated transactions run efficiently and smoothly. Perivan’s experience and understanding of corporate finance transactions and investor and shareholder communications is second to none. Perivan has helped countless companies, from start-ups to FTSE 250 firms, to navigate their corporate life stages: early-stage fundraising, AIM admissions, LSE Main Market IPOs, post-IPO, inaugural annual report, subsequent annual reports, rights Issues, and mergers and acquisitions.
With the largest specialist in-house typesetting, artworking, and design resource in the UK, Perivan provides a highly responsive and expert document creation service. Our typesetting team operate over 24-hours to ensure time-critical documents are turned around quickly, accurately, and securely.
This is why Perivan is the market leader for producing Main Market IPO prospectuses and AIM admissions. In 2021 Perivan produced 41% of IPO admissions to the London Stock Exchange, including 62% that were listed on AIM, and produced 103 of the 346 IPOs over the last 5 years. Perivan is also the largest producer of annual reports, including over 250 for listed companies.
If you would like to know more about Perivan’s market-leading IPO prospectus, corporate finance, annual report, and investor and shareholder communications capabilities, please get in touch with our team.