David Hellier
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EVER since Andrew Osborne quit Bank of America Merrill Lynch after being fined for a market abuse case in December, there have been rumours that Ian Hannam, one of the City’s top deal-makers, was being scrutinised by the Financial Services Authority.

Nevertheless when Xstrata announced its proposed £56bn merger with rival Glencore in February, Hannam’s name was one of the first on the list of advisers.

Like Osborne, life remained as hectic as ever for Hannam even while the regulators continued their investigations, trawling through more than 20,000 emails in an attempt to find a smoking gun.

One of Hannam’s closest contacts is Xstrata’s chief executive Mick Davis, who yesterday came out in support of his favourite banker despite the FSA’s decision to fine him £450,000 for disclosing inside information while advising another client, Heritage Oil.

Hannam’s other clients include Nat Rothschild’s resource vehicle Vallares, HSBC, Land Securities, Vedanta and African Barrick. He has also participated in fund-raisings for 3i and SAB Miller – a record that shows he is one of the most deal hungry bankers the City has ever seen.

He was raised in a working-class neighbourhood in south London, the son of a council worker. He later joined the Territorial Special Air Service at age 17.

He decided to go to London Business School before joining Salomon Bros, where he worked on the IPO of the late Robert Maxwell’s flotation of Mirror Group newspapers.

“He was an amazing salesman,” said one banker, who remembers him from that time. “He was always speaking on about three phones at the same time.”

He later applied, unsuccessfully, for the top job at JP Morgan in London in 2008 and when it went to an outsider he is said to have taken himself off for a month or so to contemplate his future.

He returned to be as busy as ever. Now, friends say, he is focused on clearing his name.