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Capital Markets Conference

Israel Sells Its Top Brains to Foreign Companies, Says TASE CEO

Ittai Ben-Zeev spoke Monday at Calcalist’s capital market conference in Tel Aviv

CTech 17:3903.02.20
Israel is systematically selling its best brains to foreign companies, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) CEO Ittai Ben-Zeev said Monday at Calcalist’s capital market conference. The conference was held in Tel Aviv, in collaboration with KSM & ETF.


According to Ben-Zeev, many Israeli tech companies are acquired by foreign companies, something he considers “missed opportunities at the national level.” Many of these tech companies were founded by entrepreneurs who earned their expertise and knowledge while serving in the Israeli army’s elite units, he said, adding that in the last decade, the foreign takeover of Israeli tech companies had cost the country $112 billion.
Ittai Ben-Zeev. Photo: Yariv Katz Ittai Ben-Zeev. Photo: Yariv Katz
The employees and executives of these companies benefit from such deals, he said, but the Israeli public does not due to no opportunities to invest in private Israeli companies.


“We want our leading indices to accurately reflect the Israeli economy,” Ben-Zeev said. According to him, in the last decade, there was growth in international markets, but large Israeli companies are not represented on the TASE, limiting public exposure to them. “We do not want this decade of exits to be a lost decade,” he said. “We have created a model for Israeli multinational companies: a Tel Aviv initial public offering with the valuation of Wall Street. Roadshows not just in Israel, but in London and New York. This way, companies meet with European investors, and there’s an option of investing in the companies on the TASE.”