Crunch talks to save Seymour Pierce as City broker scrambles for cash

 
Marion Dakers
THE FUTURE of 130-year-old brokerage Seymour Pierce was hanging in the balance last night as its board met to consider administration unless a last-minute investor comes forward.

Seymour Pierce, which has been in talks with several potential investors in recent months, is believed to have put Grant Thornton on notice as administrator.

The small-cap broker, chaired by well-known Premier League adviser Keith Harris, has been left struggling by the moribund London fundraising market that has forced many of its rivals to merge or find fresh investment.

Seymour Pierce Holdings made a pre-tax loss of £587,119 in the year to September 2011, according to its most recent Companies House filings. The board said at the time this was “a reasonable result in the light of the extremely difficult trading conditions”.

The firm hired Tom Forcier as chief executive last May, after Philip Wale left to join rival Panmure Gordon after just over a year in charge.

Panmure Gordon is believed to have talked to Seymour Pierce about a possible cash injection, but decided against a deal.

Seymour Pierce and Grant Thornton declined to comment yesterday.