The City veteran who is yearning to return to working with clients

 
David Hellier
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WHEN Tim Linacre moves aside to make way for a new chief executive, the City will be losing one of its best known characters.

Except that he won’t disappear from the Square Mile altogether, according to the plans, for the 53 year-old will be getting back to what he knows best; he will be servicing his favourite clients with corporate finance advice.

“I’m lucky to currently have a handful of clients,” says a chipper Linacre, speaking to City A.M. yesterday. “But I’d ideally like to have three handfuls of them in a few months time.”

Linacre says that Panmure will be able to search “anywhere we want” for a successor, having put the word out so publicly that it is looking for a chief executive.

He has been the top man at the firm for six years, having worked there for a total of 21 years. There will be some who will hold against him the unfortunate £32m acquisition of the US broker ThinkEquity in April 2007, just before the onset of the credit crisis.

“Certainly the timing was unfortunate and we paid more than we should have done in retrospect, but it’s currently contributing around 55 per cent of our revenues,” he said.

Prior to Panmure Gordon, Linacre was trained at Hoare Govett, the well-respected broking house that was subsequently bought out by ABN Amro (and then RBS).

And it was there that Linacre enjoyed his best-ever deal, the flotation of Racal Telecom, which became the Vodafone group.

“It was amazing to be at the birth of something like that,” he says. “It’s a company that has since become a world leader.”

A regular church-goer, Linacre is also a passionate supporter of the Conservative Party and Spurs and he is a staunch family man, married with two children.

There was one thing many wondered last night. What might happen to the Linacre-owned portrait of Harry Panmure Gordon, the firm’s founder, that hangs in the offices? “When I finally leave the firm it will go to the National Portrait Gallery,” he says.

“It is too big to hang at home.”