BarCap set to gain broking mandate at 3i

David Hellier
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BARCLAYS Bank’s fast growing equities business BarCap was last night said to be close to winning an important new broking appointment at the international private equity group 3i.

3i has been conducting a regular review of its brokers, which are currently Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP?Morgan.

The group, whose chief executive is Michael Queen, said it would not formalise an appointment until a board meeting at the end of the month. “We are reviewing our brokers at the moment,” a spokesman said.

But City A.M. has been told that BarCap, whose UK equities capital markets team is led by Jim Renwick, is in pole position to win one of the broking positions from JP Morgan.

If BarCap succeeds in winning the account it will be a further boost for the unit, whose recent accounts wins have included IAG, the airline group comprised of Iberia and British Airways, Resolution and BHP. It is also broker to National Grid.

Earlier this year BarCap overtook Nomura to break into the top ten of brokers in terms of FTSE 100 clients.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is expected to hang on to the joint brokerage which it nearly lost in 2009 when its relationship broker Mike Findlay left the firm shortly after its takeover by Bank of America.

Meanwhile Swiss banking group UBS yesterday enjoyed a welcome success as it won a prestige broking account with the global drinks group Diageo. The UBS appointment and the reappointment of an existing broker led to speculation that Diageo might drop Goldman Sachs but as of yesterday a spokesman for the group said: “As of today we have three corporate brokers.” The other adviser is Swiss group Credit Suisse.

The appointment of UBS will be a major boost since the firm has lost a number of clients recently, including Standard Life and Legal & General.

It would be particularly sweet for UBS if its appointment knocked Goldman off the mandate since last September it lost one of its star brokers Philip Shelley to its rival.

Key to the Diageo decision-making process is believed to be the powerful investor relations director Catherine James.