The Business On... Simon Borrows, Chairman, Greenhill
Thursday 07 July 2011
Do I know him?
Not necessarily (his public profile is not high) but everyone in the City does. He's the man who turned Greenhill, once a small, specialist US-based investment bank, into a major player in Europe's M&A market.
So what deal is he chasing now?
He's not. Some 13 years after joining Greenhill, having been personally recruited by its founder Bob Greenhill, he is leaving. Mr Borrows is to become chief investment officer at 3i, the private equity and venture capital investor.
Is that a promotion?
Well, 3i is a FTSE 100-listed company rather than a privately-owned bank, so in that sense, yes. Still, the job will be a challenge – the company's performance this year has been lacklustre, to say the least, with some shareholders increasingly unhappy about the management. Mr Borrows is effectively being brought in to turn things around.
Can he do it?
If his track record is anything to go by, yes. When Mr Borrows left ING Barings in 1998, no one gave him a chance of turning Greenhill into an important name in the City, but he has pulled it off.
Does he know 3i?
He should do. In his role at Greenhill, he has worked as an adviser to the company for many years. Anyway, he will be able to draw on a breadth of experience from having worked on a string of important deals.
Like the sale of EMI to Terra Firma, for example, a transaction that ultimately saw Mr Borrows give evidence in court during the battle between Terra Firma's boss, Guy Hands, and Citigroup. Mr Borrows's testimony made it clear that the Citigroup banker David Wormsley had not known a rival bidder for EMI had pulled out of the auction. That did not help Mr Hands who was suing Citigroup for having kept this information from him.
Anything else we should know?
Mr Borrows has an MBA from the London Business School and is a talented golfer.
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