When the words "initial public offering" have been mentioned in Australian mining and exploration circles over the last 20 years, two other words have often followed, "Steinepreis Paganin".
"We estimate that we have advised on over 270 IPOs since we started, and a large portion of those would have involved mining or exploration projects" Managing Partner Mark Foster explained when we sat down with him last week looking ahead to the Diggers & Dealers conference. The reality is that records show Steinepreis Paganin have often accounted for between 20% to 30% of all IPOs in Australia each year over the past 10 years, in addition to the other corporate work that they do. A number of companies which Steinepreis Paganin have advised on have transformed from small exploration companies into large mining companies over that time.
Now boasting nine Partners and approximately 40 lawyers, Steinepreis Paganin has grown considerably from its inception, in particular given its sole area of focus is corporate and commercial advisory work which includes its capital raising and merger and acquisition focuses. "We are proud of the way we have been able to grow as Western Australian business has grown over the last 20 years. We have seen Articled Clerks develop into Partners and we have a Partner who moved from Scotland, re-qualified in Australia and grew his skills and practice to the point where we were proud to be able to make him a Partner last year.
Speaking of the Diggers & Dealers Conference, Mr Foster said it was always a great chance to get a number of clients in the one location and catch up with many existing and former clients, where a new engagement or opportunity was never too far away. "Coming to Diggers & Dealers has always been an important part of our yearly planning and something we look forward to, in particular Toby Hicks, whose family has such a long history in Kalgoorlie and mining in Kalgoorlie and who now have a connection to Diggers & Dealers through the presentation of the Ray Finlayson Medal at the closing dinner."
When pressed on what he thought had made the firm so successful over the years, Mr Foster was circumspect, "We try not to take ourselves too seriously, but always take the work we do very seriously by seeking to understand our clients' commercial requirements and needs and working with them to achieve their goals. And of course all our work is founded on a strong understanding and knowledge of the relevant legal and regulatory requirements."
Steinepreis Paganin recently opened an office in Melbourne and is looking to grow its presence on the east coast. "We have always served a number of clients on the east coast, and with Matt Hawtin starting up the Melbourne office this year, we are starting to see some ongoing growth in those numbers."
If that is the case, Steinepreis Paganin will be a leader in the corporate advisory space in Australia for years to come.