`Midwife of privatisation' finds niche

James Bethell on the head of Smith New Court's departure to Hambro Maga n

Sir Michael Richardson, the financier who served as midwife to Britain's privatisation programme, has found a new vehicle for his corporate finance skills ahead of what he predicts will be the next financial revolution in the world of electricity , gas and water - and in his own back yard of the City.

The Old Harrovian, 69, is leaving the chairmanship of Smith New Court to become executive chairman of JO Hambro Magan, the boutique corporate finance house run by George Magan, an old rival in the world of bids and deals.

He says that, as Big Bang Two and the shake-out among the utilities gathers steam in the year ahead, the services of an independent corporate finance house will be in high demand. Sir Michael first showed his skill as a partner at Panmure Gordon but madehis mark at NM Rothschild, which has collected Lord Wakeham, former Leader of the House of Lords, as a director.

Sir Michael's Rothschilds connection helped him deliver a string of lucrative privatisation contracts. He still manages money for Baroness Thatcher. He has close friendships with a number of leading businessmen including Lord King and Lord Hanson. But Sir Michael has also had other, more controversial, friends, including the fugitive Asil Nadir, and the late Robert Maxwell.

He retains board positions at Rank Foundation, the Savoy Hotel and Sedgwick Group. Recently at Smith New Court, the old-school charm of the keen huntsman and sailor seemed increasingly incongruous on a board dominated by Michael Marks, the former gold trader. However, at JO Hambro Magan, Sir Michael will find a suitable home for his remarkable deal-making skills, repeatedly proven over the years.

Hambro Magan was founded by Rupert and James Hambro in February 1988 with their partners, and Alton Irby, former deputy chairman of Sedgwick, and George Magan, former head of corporate finance at Morgan Grenfall and now chairman of Magan's.

Under his chairmanship the 35-person Westminster-based business has been at the centre of £15bn of deals including the £1.6bn takeover of Jaguar by Ford, the £950m takeover of Morgan Grenfall by Deutsche Bank and the £1.5bn takeover of Hawker Siddeley byBTR.

Sir Michael says Magan faces its busiest year yet. "The trend in the City is towards enormous integrated businesses and this opens up the field to independent advisers not caught up in conflicts of interest."

Sir Michael sees a rash of consolidation sweeping the City in the year ahead. "Although Warburg messed it up, the rising share prices of Kleinwort Benson, Smith New Court and the others suggest the days of the independent broker and merchant bank are numbered."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her in Latakia
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report