Collins Stewart hiring again ahead of market upswing

FINANCIAL services group Collins Stewart will today announce a number of high-profile new hires alongside its interim results, as new chief executive Mark Brown beefs up the group&rsquo;s core businesses to take advantage of opportunities in the current market turmoil.<br /><br />Most of the hires will be to the securities division, though the group has also taken on Julian Smith, a former senior broking adviser at Dresdner Kleinwort, to strengthen its corporate broking team.<br /><br />Stuart Galvin, previously head of European convertible bond trading at HSBC, and former UBS executive director Andrew Kilpatrick have joined to launch a new convertible bond sales and trading team.<br /><br />Analysts Morten Singleton, Greg Lawless and Robin Savage have joined from Oriel Securities, Blue Oar and KBC Peel Hunt respectively, while Martin Francis, a veteran of MF Global, Citi and UBS, joins as a sales trader.<br /><br />Collins Stewart, which will today update the market on trading for the six months to the end of June, has reduced its headcount by around 10 per cent since its peak in October last year due to the slowdown. But Brown, who recently closed the group&rsquo;s loss-making US investment banking business, is keen to take advantage of any upturn in market activity.