Hiring spree gives a boost to Evolution

INVESTMENT banking group Evolution said yesterday it is performing well despite the economic turmoil, with the expansion of its institutional equities business continuing apace and strong progress in its other divisions.<br /><br />Evolution, which poached a team of 45 staff from Dresdner Kleinwort&rsquo;s securities business last month, said the new hires had been integrated successfully.<br /><br />It added that the fixed income division had continued to demonstrate growth in its products and new customers over the first half of the financial year, while net inflows at the private client business, Williams de Broe, were in line with expectations.<br /><br />&ldquo;The group&rsquo;s financial position continues to be strong and the maintenance of a strong and liquid balance sheet remains a core group policy,&rdquo; Evolution said in a statement.<br /><br />The group is due to publish its half year results at the end of August.<br /><br />The new Dresdner Kleinwort staff have increased headcount at its securities arm by over 30 per cent. The group also boosted its private client business in October with the acquisition of Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander&rsquo;s private client team, after the bank&rsquo;s Icelandic parent went into administration.<br /><br />Over the last financial year, Evolution saw adjusted pre-tax profit plunge 91 per cent to &pound;1.9m, as it suffered along with the rest of its sector. But the group said at the time of its full-year results in April that it was restructuring the business to withstand the pressure of the downturn and insisted that its staff would prove the key to its success in 2009.<br /><br />&ldquo;We have taken a conscious decision to reward (both to retain and motivate) those people we need for the future,&rdquo; said chairman Martin Gray.