Evolution on a high as profit haul grows

INVESTMENT banking group Evolution yesterday cheered the market as it said profits for the year should exceed expectations, after the firm saw strong trading growth, increased corporate activity and record levels of funds under management.<br /><br />Evolution said second-half revenues in its investment banking division would be &ldquo;at least double&rdquo; those reported in the six months to June, due to a robust performance in fixed income and equity trading and a growing corporate client list. The firm also said it was continuing to hire key staff, with headcount in investment banking expected to be 10 per cent higher at the end of the year in December than at the half-year mark. <br /><br />In May, the firm said it had picked up 45 new employees in research, sales and trading from Dresdner Kleinwort, which was taken over by Germany&rsquo;s Commerzbank last year.<br /><br />Evolution&rsquo;s private client investment management arm, trading under the Williams de Bro&euml; name, saw funds under management grow to a record &pound;5bn at the end of September, up 19 per cent from the &pound;4.2bn the firm reported in June.<br /><br />Chief executive Alex Snow is understood to be looking at the possibility of making further strategic acquisitions after buying up the investment management team of Kaupthing Singer &amp; Friedlander a year ago.<br /><br />&ldquo;Given the successful results from investments made over the last 12 months and our growing business pipeline, the group is highly confident that it can continue the momentum in profit growth into 2010 and beyond,&rdquo; it said in a statement.