Cadbury joins Close Brothers bank

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The Independent Online
While Barclays Bank has put a chunk of its BZW investment bank up for sale, a small UK merchant bank is expanding its corporate finance side and has made a senior appointment.

Close Brothers, the small but fast-growing merchant bank, has recruited Peter Cadbury, until earlier this year deputy chairman of Morgan Grenfell, as joint chairman of its corporate finance department. This follows the merger by Close Brothers in June 1996 with the corporate finance team at Hill Samuel. Since then it has been involved in more than 50 deals valued at more than pounds 2bn.

Mr Cadbury, 54, spent 27 years at Morgan Grenfell and became one of the City's best-known deal makers but began to feel ill at ease with changes made by its German parent, Deutsche Bank.

Having talked with senior businessmen recently, Mr Cadbury said: "Many feel that large integrated investment banks are now driven by their product and distribution strengths, creating conflicts which prevent them sitting alongside their clients on a long-term basis."

Mr Cadbury said the five years following the purchase of Morgan Grenfell by Deutsche in 1989 were "a very happy period. We were left alone, to get on with traditional mergers and acquisitions work, giving top-quality, objective advice on strategic issues to clients."

Then Deutsche decided to form a global integrated investment bank to take on the American "bulge bracket" banks, and things changed. "This was moving away from what I do best. It's the long-term objective approach against the very short-term transaction-led business."

For the past seven years Mr Cadbury has been working exclusively with clients and he aims to build Close Brothers' corporate finance client list. Mr Cadbury is a scion of the chocolate dynasty although he has never worked in the business.

While at Morgan Grenfell he was involved in advising United Technologies/Sikorsky on the reconstruction of Westland, advising Scottish & Newcastle on its acquisition of Matthew Brown and Minorco on its contested offer for Consolidated Goldfields and sale to Hanson.

At Close Brothers he will find a client list which includes more than 80 quoted companies such as Brent Walker, Logica and PizzaExpress.

-John Willcock

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