(Reuters) - The fallout from the controversial stock market flotation of Britain's Royal Mail has reopened a rift between bankers and the independent advisers who run such deals.
Following is a summary of the role advisers commonly play in stock market flotations:
* Independent advisers are appointed to help a company or government get a good price in a share sale and drum up investor interest. They say they aim to help achieve a delicate balancing act between valuing shares correctly, which involves raising a healthy amount of capital for the issuer, giving the shares a "pop" up in price on the first day of trade to keep initial investors happy, and ensuring a healthy aftermarket so the shares do not plummet in value in later weeks.
* Unlike banks, advisers do not distribute shares directly or take on the risk of underwriting or guaranteeing the deal. Instead they say they act as intermediaries between the client seeking to sell shares and the banks, as well as using long-standing expertise to help choose the banks that best suit the specific deal in question.
* Advisors say they try to provide the client with transparent and objective advice on the pricing process of a stock market listing and spur the banks to obtain the best price for the deal.
* Since banks earn a percentage on a share sale they have an interest in maximising the price. However, simply shooting for the highest valuation could lead to damaging share price falls when the shares start trading, or a lack of investor interest.
* Independent advisers such as Lazard , Rothschild and STJ Advisors have become increasingly common since the financial crash of 2007-2008, after a sunken market for new share issues left a dearth of capital market experience in banks. Figures are scarce but Rothschild said in 2012 that 70 percent of large recent western European stock market flotations or IPOs used advisers.
(Compiled by Freya Berry; Editing by David Holmes)