First lady of broking buys out FinnCap

ONE of the City’s hottest female rising stars has completed a £2.5m management buyout of her firm FinnCap, with the aim of growing it into the broker of choice for small cap companies in London.

Chief executive Sam Smith at the weekend sealed a deal to buy back the outstanding 50 per cent of FinnCap from former parent JM Finn & Co, along with the rest of her 43 staff – including private equity veteran Jon Moulton, who she brought on board earlier this year as chairman.

Smith has ambitious plans for the organic growth of the business, boosting its 63-strong client list to reach her target of 80 within the year and expanding coverage in new areas such as oil and gas.

She is also keeping a keen eye on acquisition opportunities throughout the small to mid-cap broking sector, which has long been the subject of speculation over consolidation, favouring bolt-on acquisitions in complementary areas such as fixed income, commodities and market making.

“We are a firm in a position of strength,” said Smith. “In six to 12 months I have a feeling that the market could get very difficult for some of the other small cap businesses out there, so there could certainly be opportunities in the pipeline.”

FinnCap was spun out of private client stockbroker JM Finn in August 2007 by Smith, who had originally joined the latter to set up its corporate finance division after qualifying as a chartered accountant with KPMG. Still only in her mid-thirties, Smith is the youngest and only female chief executive of a City brokerage.