West LB set to scale back its UK presence as Wells departs

NICK WELLS, the head of mergers and acquisitions in London for WestLB, has left the bank, further underlining the German institution's retrenchment from front-line investment banking in the City.

Mr Wells, who has previously been a close adviser to Philip Green, the retail entrepreneur, and Lord Ashcroft, the former Tory party treasurer, is understood to be planning a new advisory business in the City.

Mr Wells oversaw the deal last year which saw WestLB's Panmure Gordon stockbroking business transferred to the ownership of Lazard. West LB has recently been focusing on unwinding some of the positions built up in the UK by its former star deal-maker Robin Saunders who left the bank after the refinancing of BoxClever, a TV rentals business, went wrong.

While Mr Wells has been at WestLB it has been adviser to Enic, the group that owns Tottenham Hotspur. Mr Wells, an Etonian, shot to notoriety as the young banker from County NatWest who led Blue Arrow's pounds 837m rights issue in 1987 to finance its bid for Manpower.

The rights issue turned into one of the City's most high-profile scandals, prompting a Department of Trade & Industry investigation and a trial during which Mr Wells stood with nine others accused of misleading the stock market. Mr Wells and his co-defendants were acquitted.

After the County NatWest debacle, Mr Wells went to BZW before becoming the head of corporate finance at Rea Brothers, the merchant bank subsequently bought by Close Brothers. It was at Rea Brothers that he advised Mr Green in the time before his recent rise to prominence.

Although WestLB will still have a global head of M&A in the form of Heiner Arnoldi, it is focussing on commercial banking services for its German client base. It has a London office arranging bonds and an equities business selling German equities into London and pan-European equities to German clients.

Yesterday it announced a refinancing of Whyte and Mackay, the Scotch whisky business. It has also sold investments in Pubmaster, Odeon cinemas and is in the process of selling Mid Kent Water.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power