Fighting background of the miners king who is itching to take on City's watchdog

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ian Hannam joined the special forces when he was 17 as a member of the part-time Territorial unit the Artists Rifles.

He has never left behind those shady days in camouflage and balaclavas. Tony Buckingham, chief executive of Heritage Oil, the company which the insider emails were about, is also a former special forces soldier and ex-security adviser to several foreign goverments.

David Davis, the former Tory minister, who wrote a character reference for Mr Hannam during his case with the FSA, is likewise a former elite soldier. When Mr Hannam makes one of his frequent visits to war-torn countries in his search for wealth under the ground he is regularly accompanied by two former SAS men "turned investment bankers".

When Mr Hannam declared yesterday: "I look forward to challenging [the FSA] in an independent tribunal," this was no mere lawyer-drafted response to the regulator.

The Londoner, who lives in Notting Hill and turned 56 last week, enjoys a fight.

He would love seeing a decision by the City regulator overturned in its dying days as the coalition government carves it in two.

Mr Hannam is known as the "king of the miners" in the City. He has brought deals to Xstrata, which he floated in 2002, India's Vedanta, Kazakhstan's Kazakhmys, Mexico's Fresnillo, Ukraine's Ferrexpo, and African Barrick Gold among FTSE miners. He has also raised money for HSBC and Barclays and helped the flotation of South African brewer SABMiller among many others.

He is widely credited with bringing foreign companies worth billions of pounds to the London stock market and at the same time so changing the make-up of the FTSE 100 index that it no longer reflects the state of British industry.

Recently he has been at the forefront of championing companies searching for oil and gas in the Kurdish part of Iraq and $1 trillion (£624.25bn) of gold and other metals in Afghanistan.

Last year Mr Hannam brought together financier Nat Rothschild and former BP chief executive Tony Hayward to raise £1.35bn in the London market for Vallares, which went on to buy Genel Energy, the largest oil producer in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. This was the same company which Mr Hannam had tried to engineer into a merger with Heritage oil two years earlier.

His mobile phones are stuffed with numbers ranging from the world's biggest fund managers through oligarchs to City grandees.

But there are also suggestions that tensions grew between Mr Hannam and his cohorts and the original Cazenove partners, who were led by David Mayhew, when JPMorgan took full control of the Queen's stockbroker for £1bn in 2009.

Mr Mayhew stepped down as chairman of the London investment banking operation last year but remains vice chairman of the global bank.

The secret to Mr Hannam's success is his intimate links between the companies he is advising and the money managers he wants to back them. If Mr Hannam rates a deal fund managers tend to back him. But also he is known across the City for coming up with often seemingly impossible deals off his own bat. He once plotted what would at that time have been the largest takeover in the world for Dow Chemical by a group of Middle East investors.