Brewin Dolphin is the only UK investment management firm to have its investment banking division headquarters outside London. Francesca Craggs speaks to Graeme Summers, who heads the Newcastle-based operation.
THINK investment banking and the City of London or Wall Street probably springs to mind. Not many people may know the North East can boast its very own major successful investment banking business in the shape of Brewin Dolphin.
“Brewin Dolphin has a significant presence here in the North East,” said Graeme Summers.
“There are some really great companies, many of which we are proud to work alongside in an advisory capacity. We provide clear, impartial advice to companies, helping them fulfil their growth ambitions. By helping companies fund their growth plans this potentially has a direct knock-on effect in the region via the additional wealth that the companies create.”
With more than 120 corporate clients quoted on the stock market and located throughout the UK, Brewin Dolphin is a market leader in the provision of such advice. You do not need to take their word for this – Brewin Dolphin was voted Broker of the Year at the inaugural FT/Investors Chronicle AIM Investment awards in 2007.
The Investment Banking division comprises a multi-skilled team of more than 70 at offices in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, and Manchester.
Newcastle accounts for over a third of the total team and is most notably home to the team of research analysts (voted Best in Europe – AQ Research 2007) and its team of experienced brokers who have strong relationships with all of the major investment houses. The team specialises in a number of sectors namely energy, support services, healthcare, industrials, consumer, IT, and human capital.
Graeme Summers is North East born and bred. After studying and qualifying as a chartered accountant in Newcastle, Graeme worked within Brewin Dolphin as an equity analyst. He became a director in 1996 and was made head of investment banking last year, joining the board at the same time.
The Brewin Dolphin team likes to be judged on its track record. In the last two years the business has worked on deals valued at more than £2bn and raised more than £500m for clients.
There are numerous deals which have had a positive effect on the region including the original flotation of Go-Ahead plc in 1996, the more recent £57.5m flotation of support services company Hargreaves Services plc, the flotation and subsequent acquisitions for motor retailer Vertu plc (which was voted North East Deal of the Year) and last year’s £453m flotation of eaga plc, a green support services business.
“Because of the strong track record of our clients our companies are regularly supported by the Investment Management division of the Brewin Dolphin Group, which has over £21bn of investment funds.”
Like Graeme, a good percentage of the investment banking team at Newcastle are from the region.
By combining the skills and knowledge of corporate advisory, equity research and equity sales and trading specialists, the firm is able to offer a fully integrated service to its clients.
“Brewin Dolphin is not like your typical City investment bank. Much of the reason lies in the adherence to our core values and in particular our focus on the long term interests of our clients. In contrast, the City is sometimes renowned for being reactive and occasionally short-termist.
“As part of our own growth plans, we are always looking to cherry pick exceptional talent from across the UK and relocate it to the North East and this strategy continues. Indeed the current ‘credit crunch’ and potential knock-on effect in the City may well provide rich pickings for us in the coming months.
“Like our clients we have ambitions to grow beyond the strong platform we have established over the last 10 years. We will continue to do this successfully from our home patch in the North East.”