Broker nabs ex-Yamaichi team

TEATHER & Greenwood, the small City stockbroker seeking a stock market listing through a reverse takeover, has taken on a team of people from Yamaichi, the bust Japanese stockbroker.

The recruitment brings the former European sales and trading team at Yamaichi to the UK firm.

A small move in City terms, perhaps, it highlights the ambition of one small firm to compete against the big guns of the City. And it seems to be paying off.

The three-strong Yamaichi team turned down competing offers from Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, and Japan's largest stockbroker, Nomura, to join the tiddler. The three-strong team will concentrate on selling UK shares to European clients.

Since the Big Bang of 1986, costs for small stockbroking firms have escalated. Colossal spending is now needed on information technology, there are higher back-office and settlement costs - and more onerous regulatory expenses.

There has been concern that the increasingly sensitive regulatory environment, combined with hefty capital adequacy requirements, will mean the end of the small, independent broker. Many stockbrokers focused solely on private client business have felt the pinch.

But it would seem there is still room to manoeuvre in the City for firms prepared to concentrate on niches within traditional areas. Jeremy Delmar- Morgan, Teather & Greenwood's senior partner, said: "We are delighted to have recruited a team of this calibre. The fact a team of such seniority chose Teather above competing brokers is an excellent testimony to our growing reputation."

The thrust of Teather's expansion over the last few years has been based on gaining smaller company corporate finance clients. It now acts as stockbroker to 50 companies, of which about 30 are AIM stocks, and was responsible for floating many AIM companies.

Ken Ford runs the corporate finance department and has been responsible for developing a strong smaller-company franchise. He said there is an opening for a stockbroking firm that can offer a strong after market in the shares of small companies it represents - frequently a failing of stockbrokers looking after small firms.

Mr Ford also maintains that Teather delivers superior research for a small broker. He says that the critical edge comes once a firm has gone through the 100-employee barrier. After that, a good small broker should have the revenues to more than offset its capital requirements. Teather now employs 130 people.

The broker plans to obtain a listing for its shares through a reverse takeover of NRP, an AIM company owning a pounds 2m portfolio of residential property. NRP's shares were suspended last week at 69.5p, against a net asset valuation of 72p a share.

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