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Zeus defies underdog status to poach Canaccord financial team

4th September 2015


UK broker Zeus Capital is set to poach four members of Canaccord Genuity’s financial institutions group, illustrating how smaller firms are treading on the toes of bigger rivals.

Zeus has lured Canaccord’s Mike Cuthbert, managing director and head of financials; Martin Green, a managing director in corporate finance; Robin Savage, a financials analyst; and Pippa Underwood, who works in corporate broking.

Canaccord confirmed the departures and said 10 people remained in its financial-institutions team.

John Goold, Zeus chief executive, said: “It is a first-class team from Canaccord with a great record. I think it is further vindication of the Zeus model, which is focused, independent, and driven bymergers and acquisitions.”

Like rival Cenkos Securities, Zeus operates a deal-focused model, rather than other services such as research. In February this year, Cenkos pulled off the sale of British Car Auctions to Haversham Holdings in a £1.2bn deal that came after bulge-bracket banks had to pull BCA’s initial public offering. Zeus was joint broker on the deal and on a £100m IPO of Elegant Hotels in May.

Zeus employs fewer than 50 people in London, Manchester and Birmingham, without Canaccord’s scale of research, distribution and secondary trading. But it has been a prominent player on London’s Aim and in 2014 raised about 35 per cent of all funds for companies on the junior market.

This is the first time that Zeus has hired a sector team, who will work alongside its specialists in the healthcare, renewables and automotive industries. The new recruits will be given the task of building up a list of financial institutions clients and working with them as corporate broker – an intermediary between companies and the investor base – and corporate finance adviser.

Canaccord Genuity has a roster of 38 corporate clients in the financial industry including stockbrokers Brewin Dolphin, Rathbone Brothers and Charles Stanley, according to Adviser Rankings, which tracks the industry. This year it has worked on deals including Optimal Payments’ €1.1bn acquisition of online payment business Skrill Group, and the sale of LA Fitness to Pure Gym.

Canaccord is expected shortly to appoint a new group chief executive – either Alexis de Rosnay, chief executive of UK and Europe; or Daniel Daviau, head of North American capital markets – after the death of Paul Reynolds in March.

Separately, Numis Securities has hired a three-strong healthcare team from Peel Hunt to beef up its coverage of the sector amid buoyant deal flow. Analysts Paul Cuddon and Stefan Hamill, and corporate financier Clare Terlouw were joining Numis, the firm said.

This article was published by the Financial Times.