Panmure Gordon records its first profit under the ownership of Bob Diamond
London-based stockbroker Panmure Gordon has made a profit for the first time since coming under the control of former Barclays duo Bob Diamond and Rich Ricci, albeit just £3million for 2021.
Diamond, who was chief executive of Barclays from 2011 to 2012, bought a majority stake in the 146-year-old merchant bank in 2018 with the Qatari royal family. Two years ago he appointed his former lieutenant Ricci, who led Barclays investment bank from 2009 to 2013, as chief executive.
Panmure Gordon, which specializes in advising UK small and medium-sized businesses, lost £28.6m in 2019 and £5.4m in 2020.
Ricci told the Financial Times that last year’s improvement was due to the company nearly doubling its list of corporate clients since 2020, from 53 to 91, leading to an increase in revenue from £15.7m to £48.3m, its highest level since 2009.
“The company is at a tipping point in terms of operating leverage,” Ricci said.
Recent clients won by the broker include AssetCo, the investment management acquisition vehicle run by former Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert, and Ted Baker, the clothing retailer.
However, Ricci said Panmure Gordon’s revenue for the first four months of the year was lower than for the same period last year.
UK stockbrokers have had a rocky start to 2022, with Numis, another mid-market player, warning that investor fears over inflation and the war in Ukraine have caused stock market activity levels to plummet British at an almost 10-year low.
Most companies seeking to raise funds through a London listing have put plans on hold, while deal activity has been suppressed by doubts over the future of the UK economy amid a surge inflation and energy costs.
Last month, Numis said revenue for the six months to March would be more than a third lower than a year ago after trading was hit by lower activity at its tech division. investment bank.
Diamond added that the problems faced by stock brokers made this an ideal time to seek acquisitions.
“Now we are ready for consolidation – we are actively looking for opportunities,” Diamond said. “There is nothing imminent, but I expect that we will do something in the next 18 months.”
Diamond’s investment group, Atlas Merchant Capital, bought Panmure Gordon for £15.5m in early 2018.
Diamond and Ricci – along with former sidekick Jerry del Missier – were known as Barclays Capital’s “three musketeers”, responsible for Barclays’ rapid growth in the boom years until 2008, which resulted in a 1 .75 billion dollars to buy Lehman Brothers’ American company out of bankruptcy.
Diamond and del Missier left Barclays in 2012 following a £290million fine for Libor rigging, and Ricci left a year later.