The riddle of Lord Rothschild and Bill Winters

 
David Hellier
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BILL Winters, the former co-chief executive of JP Morgan Investment Bank, seems to have fallen on his feet with his recent tie-up with Lord Rothschild's listed investment vehicle RIT.

Winters, who also sits on the government’s Independent Banking Commission, is setting up a new investment vehicle called Renshaw Bay in which RIT is taking a 25 per cent shareholding, with another 25 per cent held by Johann Rupert’s Reinet Investments.

But how much is RIT paying for its stake?

The Winters team is keeping very quiet on numbers but I understand that the RIT investment amounts to the princely sum of zero. Admittedly RIT will be providing office space and back-up support in the early days and the Rothschild name is certainly worth a bob or two but, if true, acquiring a 25 per cent holding in a potentially valuable but unproven investment vehicle for nothing looks like a bit of a bargain.

Maybe it’s all part of Lord Rothschild’s succession planning. With son Nat off doing his own thing in mining with Vallar, there might be a need to find an appropriate person to take the empire forward once the man himself has called time on his working life. As part of the deal Winters becomes a non-executive director of RIT, perhaps as a prelude to bigger things in years to come.

FROM LITTLE ACORNS

Earlier this year DC Advisory Partners, owner of Close Brothers’ corporate advisory business, appointed former Bank of America big-hitter Paul Mullins to head up its European operations with the objective of making DC Europe’s number one mid-cap focused investment bank.

Rival firms have struggled with the notion that Daiwa, the Japanese bank behind DC Advisory Partners, has a formula that will prosper in the London market given the already strong competition for such investment banking advice.

As part of the Close Brothers network, which includes Winterflood Securities, the corporate finance team benefited from a historic name that many believed was worth its weight in gold.

But worker bees at DC (what resonance does that name have?) have been feeling more chipper recently since JP McGrath, a former Samuel Montagu man, won them the mandate to advise Baring Asset Management on the sale of its private client business to SG Hambros. It’s not the biggest deal in the world but it could be the start nonetheless towards the ultimate goal.
david.hellier@cityam.com