Numis Securities has opened an office in Manchester as the London-based independent stockbroker looks to service companies in the regions.
Numis has hired Graeme Summers as a managing director of corporate broking to lead the northern charge. Mr Summers had previously spent around two decades at rival broker Brewin Dolphin, and was also head of corporate broking at N+1 Singer.
Oliver Hemsley, chief executive of Numis, said: “We think the north is underserviced. There’s lots of interesting companies based there and we want to be able to access them.”
Numis’s main competitor in the north of England is Zeus Capital, which has offices in Manchester and Birmingham. Zeus has raised £900m for flotations in the past 15 months or so, roughly 40 per cent of IPOs on London’s Aim. The broker often works as the sole adviser to companies.
This summer Zeus hired Adam Pollock, the head of corporate broking at Panmure Gordon, as the company expands its list of clients. And last month it named Sir Nigel Knowles, managing partner of law firm DLA Piper, as chairman. Sir Nigel built DLA Piper from a UK regional practice to a global law firm.
The opening of Numis’s new office comes amid a resurgence of corporate activity in the regions and has attracted the attention of London’s brokers, who normally focus on winning mandates in the capital.
“Until recently, London brokers were dusting off the map as to where Manchester was. Now they’re heading up there on the train trying to win business,” one broker said.
Numis has worked on several flotations of companies from the north of England this year, including the initial public offering of Doncaster-based Polypipe in April, which valued the pipe maker at £490m.
In May Numis floated another Yorkshire company, Clipper Logistics, which counts John Lewis and Asos among its clients. It also worked on the June IPO of Blackpool retailer B & M.
It also acts as corporate broker to Manchester-based car dealer Lookers and Norcros, a Cheshire bathroom fittings group.
Numis, which has been one of the best performers in the UK mid-market this year, reported record revenues during the six months to March 31. The buoyant market for flotations boosted 59 per cent to £51.5m, while adjusted profit before tax increased 125 per cent to £20.7m during the period.