Jim Armitage: Oliver Hemsley at Numis is the keyComments Off on Jim Armitage: Oliver Hemsley at Numis is the key
For all those worried about the future of the City of London, Numis’s results on Wednesday serve as a tonic and a lesson to all.
In the past year, for all the fretting about Brexit, Trump and Europe, Numis has been smashing it out of the park: record revenues, award-winning research and no fewer than 47 equity fundraisings.
Flotations have been scrapped left, right and centre, but Numis managed to get 13 away, and worked on 26 takeovers.
All this despite the strife hitting Panmure, Arden, WH Ireland and other brokerages. Seems to me their problems largely arise from the fact that they don’t have one thing: Oliver Hemsley.
In the noughties, while Collins Stewart, Evolution, Oriel and others were being taken over, Numis founder Hemsley grew the business to critical mass while also keeping it doggedly independent.
While others were struggling to stay focused during their self-inflicted turmoil, Hemsley kept focused on clients, building long-term relationships. Now, rather than chasing every big deal from a standing start, Numis gets the gig because its team has known the management for years.
You could fret about what happens post-Hemsley; he has stepped back from the CEO role, after all. But he’s still an executive director and these days focuses solely on client relationships.
That’s got to be a good thing. For, if there’s one lesson the Numis story teaches us, it’s this: stick to your clients, and you’ll be all right.
Just one thing, though. While independence was Hemsley’s watchword in the noughties, you wonder how long it will be before a bidder makes this dealmaker an offer he can’t refuse.