The Business On... Alex Snow, Chief Executive, Evolution

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The Independent Online

What, he's still here?

Yup. Mr Snow's Evolution Securities has endured some considerable ups and downs, but the former Harlequins and England A rugby star is a survivor. Well, you might expect someone who played opposite Martin Johnson and who freely admits that the two "knocked bells off each other" during their active career would be a hard man to dislodge.

Why's he in the news?

He's keen to buy rival stockbroker Panmure Gordon. Shares in another possible bidder, Cenkos Securities, shot up when it ruled itself out of an auction in favour of picking off teams and individuals instead. It's cheaper.

Not that Evo's is after the best of Panmure, then

Oh yes it is. Saying you are interested in a deal, and doing one are two very different things. The apparent interest in Panmure from Evolution creates uncertainty and it's not only Cenkos that stands to benefit from picking off its best people. Evo's will be at the same game.

It's all very tactical

Exactly. Mr Snow is a survivor, and you don't survive as long as he has in the City at a company which has been dogged by controversy for years by missing the main chance.

What's he like?

Big. Really big.

Well, duh

Sorry. It can be hard to warm to Mr Snow. His company seems desperate to prove how busy it is. It's not unknown for him to wear a short-sleeved shirt and turn up to a meeting after a strategic delay just to prove how busy he is. If that seems rather off, it is. But you can't deny Evo's success. Despite all the controversy and chunky FSA fines it has had to deal with, it's still here.

What next?

More of the same. Don't bet on Mr Snow – who had his fair share of time with the big boys during a stint at Credit Suisse – going anywhere any time soon. He might not buy Panmure in the end but Evo's going to be in the thick of any broking upheavals.