Portuguese bank buys half of broker Execution Noble

CITY stockbroker Execution Noble yesterday bounded ahead with its aggressive expansion plans after Banco Espirito Santo (BES), one of Portugal’s largest banks, snapped up a majority stake in the business.

BES said it had paid around £50m for the 50.1 per cent stake in

Execution, which bought up its smaller rival Noble just seven weeks ago in a move it claimed would turn it into a “major league player” in the mid-cap investment banking and broking sector.

Execution’s management, led by founder Nick Finegold, a former Deutsche Bank trader, and chief executive Simon Brookhouse, ex-head of global equities at HSBC, will retain a significant stake in the venture.

Brookhouse is set to continue in the chief executive’s role, while BES investment banking chief executive José Maria Ricciardi joins the board as chairman. Finegold and Luis Luna Vaz, BES’s global head of capital markets, will become vice-chairmen of the enlarged company.

BES said it would use around £10m of the capital injection to strengthen Execution’s capital reserves. It also plans to strengthen the broker’s equities and fixed income focus on the key emerging markets of Brazil and India. The combined group will employ around 1,000 people across the UK, Europe, US, Far East and South America.

BES had previously indicated its interest in the UK broking sector by buying 10 per cent of rival Evolution, but sold the stake in November last year.