City is facing a boom or bust year, says Stockdale Securities boss

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This year will be a boom or bust one for London’s stockbrokers amid punishing market conditions, according one City broker. 

Stockdale Securities remained mired in the red last year, according to accounts just published, and chairman Mark Brown said brokers will need to do deals or risk failure.

Brown said: “There’s a lot of blood out there and it feels to me that you’re going to get another wave of consolidation and failure this year.”

But the chairman of Stockdale, broker to AIM firms that rebranded from Westhouse in January, struck an upbeat tone after restructuring helped it narrow losses to £1 million in the 12 months to 30 September from the £1.5 million loss it made in the previous nine months.

Stripping out costs for restructuring — which included an office move from the Heron Tower to Aldgate and introducing a salary cap — it made its first underlying operational profit in five years. 

“Given the decisive action we’ve taken, we will be around come what may,” said Brown.

Small-cap brokers are having to cope with a number of headwinds, including a lack of flotations, dwindling commissions, and regulatory changes. 

The slimmed-down Stockdale now employs just 35 staff and four consultants.

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March 8, 2016 |
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