Seymour Pierce hires team from WestLB

The Alchemy-backed financial services firm has recruited a team of senior bankers to launch a private equity advisory business.

Mark MacLean has led a team of four bankers who left German investment bank WestLB in July to set up a dedicated M&A and private equity advisory service at London-headquartered investment broker Seymour Pierce, which is backed by mid-market European investor Alchemy Partners.

Executive director MacLean is joined by directors Mark Perry and William Tebbit and manager Douglas Harmer. All four join from WestLB, where Tebbit headed up UK mergers and acquisitions at the WestLB Panmure division.

Explaining the rationale behind the move, MacLean said in an interview with PEO: “There are currently 12 people in corporate finance within Seymour Pierce, but their primary focus is the public markets. This adds a new business to the firm, in a profitable area where there isn’t that much competition.”

MacLean believes that lack of competition and the team’s experience in the sector will enable the firm to develop internationally: “Previously, there were a lot of private placement teams operating in the sector, but a number of those have disappeared. We intend to try and do much more international business as well as our core focus on the UK.”

A further area that MacLean highlighted for growth potential was in providing advice to private equity firms on the expansion and development of their investments: “Portfolio management is a key issue for private equity groups. They often don’t have the time or requisite skillsets to manage fundraising for portfolio companies and increasingly look to outsource that process.”

Seymour Pierce has had first hand experience of the private equity world, having undergone a management buyout of the investment banking division of the firm in April 2003.

Alchemy backed the £7.35 million (€10.5 million; $13.6 million) MBO of the unit which comprised the corporate finance, broking, institutional sales, research and trading and private client stockbroking businesses of Seymour Pierce.