Howard Shore, the head of the mini-investment bank and stockbroker Shore Capital, believes there are clear signs of economic recovery since the summer.
"Contacts and clients tell me there has been significant pick-up," he said. "I'm bullish about the world economy particularly since [Federal Reserve chairman] Ben Bernanke's intervention."
Shore Capital appeared to buck the trend of flaccid stock markets in its first-half numbers: profits and revenues were down on the same period a year earlier but up on the second half of 2011. Although profits were almost halved from £4.3m to £2.2m on revenues down from £20.4m to £17.8m there was a huge improvement in broking profits from last year's second half.