Renaissance offer for Andrew Osborne

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The Independent Online

The former Bank of America Merrill Lynch corporate broker at the centre of a Financial Services Authority (FSA) "market abuse" crackdown has been offered a return to the City by Russia's Renaissance Capital.

It is understood that a senior broking role in RenCap's London office is one of more than 20 offers that Andrew Osborne has received since quitting Merrill late last year.

He left after it emerged he was awaiting an FSA hearing over the way a fundraising for Punch Taverns had been handled in 2009.

The FSA decided that he had improperly passed on certain information about Punch's plans and was fined £350,000.

Crucially, though, Mr Osborne retained his banking licence, which suggested to many of his peers, rivals and clients that he had done little wrong.

Indeed, the City has grown critical of the FSA, which earlier this month saw the watchdog claim its most significant scalp, Ian Hannam, JP Morgan Cazenove's star rainmaker. He has also been accused of market abuse, but again was not stripped of his banking licence and has vowed to fight his £450,000 fine.

Mr Osborne decided not to put his young family through the ordeal of what could be a two-year legal battle, following advice from clients to move on quickly.

It is rumoured Credit Suisse may also have approached him since the fine was confirmed in January.

However, an industry source suggested Mr Osborne is more likely to look for an "entrepreneurial role" rather than return to broking.