The Business On... Terry Smith, Deputy chairman, Collins Stewart

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The Independent Online

The end of an era, we hear?

Indeed. Mr Smith said yesterday he would step down from the stockbroker Collins Stewart after 18 years working for it.

Is this the last we'll see of him?

Not at all. He'll continue in his role as the chief executive of Tullet Prebon, the interdealer broker he founded, and he has also just launched his own fund management business.

He's still up for a fight then?

You can certainly expect morerun-ins with rivals such as Icap, with whom Tullet regularly falls out, often very publicly.

How did he make his name in the first place?

Mr Smith was the City's top-rated banking analyst for five yearsrunning in the eighties, and it was clear even then that he would not pull his punches. During a stint at BZW he advised clients to sell the shares of Barclays, his investment bank employer's parent. He moved on to a top job at UBS, where he wrote Accounting for Growth, an exposé of some of the dubiouspractices employed by companies seeking to paint their finances in the best possible light. When UBS's clients started complaining about the book, the bank fired him.

There was no question of him backing down?

That's not Mr Smith's style – he tends not to give up. For example, he's just won a long battle for a permanent statue for Sir Keith Park, the Battle of Britain commander who is a long-standing hero.

Wouldn't a financier be more appropriate?

Maybe. The corridor outsider Mr Smith's office does feature a series of framed words – "easy", "beer", "hot" and more – that can all be followed by the word money. But Mr Smith is far from one-dimensional – his admiration for Sir Keith comes from his passion for history.

Any other passions?

Testosterone-fuelled ones, by and large. Mr Smith is a qualified pilot who is into competitive sports such as long-distance cycling and boxing.