Collins Stewart hunts for successor to Terry Smith

CITY stockbroker Collins Stewart has appointed headhunters to recruit two new non-executive directors, one of whom will be groomed to become the long-term successor to executive chairman Terry Smith.<br /><br />One of the non-executives is expected to become executive deputy chairman, with the potential to take the helm at the firm when Smith eventually steps down from the role.<br /><br />Smith, 56, would then scale back his responsibilities as deputy chairman, though he has no plans to leave the firm&rsquo;s board entirely.<br /><br />A City veteran who started his career at Barclays Bank 35 years ago, Smith led a management buyout of the broker in 2000. <br /><br />He is also currently chief executive of inter-dealer broker Tullett Prebon, which was demerged from Collins Stewart in 2006. Collins Stewart had separately bought up Tullett Liberty and Prebon Group a couple of years previously.<br /><br />Collins Stewart was pushed &pound;15m into the red last year as the economic crisis took its toll. It warned in a trading update last week that difficult market conditions have continued into 2009.<br /><br />&ldquo;Although financial market conditions have improved recently we will continue to manage the business cautiously,&rdquo; the firm said in a statement.<br /><strong><br />TERRY SMITH<br />Collins Stewart</strong><br />High-flying city financier Terry Smith is well-known for his outspoken views and colourful character.<br /><br />Smith &ndash; a big fan of white-collar boxing and a keen helicopter pilot &ndash; is chairman of a campaign to erect a statue of Battle of Britain hero Sir Keith Park.<br /><br />Earlier this month he led a re-enactment of a 1,800-mile flight around the UK in a Socata T20 Trinidad plane, which Park completed in 1919, to raise awareness of the campaign.<br /><br />Smith worked for Barclays Bank from 1974 to 1983, when he became a stockbroker with W Greenwell in 1984. He went on to work for BZW and James Capel and later became Head of UK company research at UBS Phillips &amp; Drew.<br /><br />In 1992 he published his best-selling book, &ldquo;Accounting for Growth&rdquo;. He joined Collins Stewart shortly after and became a director in 1996.<br /><br />