Wise Speke plans float to attract staff

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The Independent Online
Wise Speke, the Newcastle-based stockbroker and fund manager, is preparing the way for a top-level recruitment campaign with plans for a pounds 15m stock market flotation. The firm said it hoped this would make it easier to attract senior professionals.

Fund managers typically expect their remuneration packages to include a stake in the company. However, Wise Speke has not been able to include such incentives in its pay awards because it is 100 per cent owned by Ockham Holdings, which is primarily associated with a Lloyd's of London insurance business.

"I have been very impressed by the quality of management in Wise Speke and I believe that the business can do even better under the stimulus of the proposed public ownership and status," said David Poole, chairman of Wise Speke and chief executive of Ockham.

"We also believe that, by being listed, the management of Wise Speke will have far greater ability to attract new entrants to build the business," he added.

Ockham intends to keep a 60 per cent stake in Wise Speke, which manages pounds 2.1bn of money for 19,000 clients.

For the year ending December 1996, Wise Speke is forecasting a profit before exceptions and tax of not less than pounds 2.25m.