Execution ups stakes with Noble buyout

STOCKBROKER Execution has bought its smaller rival Noble in a move the firm said would turn it into a major league player in the mid-cap investment banking and broking sector.

The combined company, which will be named Execution Noble, will employ around 250 staff and will be led by Execution founder Nick Finegold, who will become executive chairman, as well as chief executive Simon Brookhouse.

Noble’s current chief executive Angus Macpherson will take up the role of deputy chief executive.
The companies did not disclose the price of the acquisition but said it was an all-equity deal that would give Noble shareholders between 15 and 16 per cent of the enlarged group.

The new firm, which will be headquartered in London, will combine Execution’s large cap research, sales and trading capabilities with Noble’s strength in small-to-mid cap corporate finance, research and investment management.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but the companies we admire are firms like Jefferies and Investec, who will be credible competitors to a firm like ours,” said Brookhouse, He added that Execution Noble would consider the pros and cons of a stock market listing in the future.

Execution, which turned over £58m last year, was founded in 2001 by Finegold and now employs 160 people in London, France, Germany, the US and Hong Kong.

Noble, which is around 70 per cent owned by its management and employees, has 110 staff in its offices in London, Edinburgh and Mumbai. It was founded in 1980 by Scottish financiers Sir Iain and Tim Noble.

The firm, which provides investment banking services to over 200 public and private companies, took a hit during the recession as activity on the markets stuttered to a halt. Last year it fell into the red on turnover of over £13.5m.