Seymour Pierce is latest broker to search for fresh investment

Marion Dakers
SMALL-CAP brokerage and investment bank Seymour Pierce is talking to potential investors about injecting cash into the firm, according to sources in the industry.

Seymour Pierce, which has around 70 clients on the main and junior stock markets, is believed to be in discussions with a number of parties about a possible investment.

Rival company Panmure Gordon had been approached, but decided to pass over a deal in favour of organic growth. Panmure hired Seymour Pierce’s chief executive Philip Wale last April.

Both firms declined to comment yesterday.

The discussions come at a time of consolidation in the brokerage industry, as rivals team up to compete for a dwindling amount of business.

RBS’s stockbroker Hoare Govett was bought by investment bank Jefferies for a nominal £1 last February, while N+1, Brewin Dolphin and Singer Capital Markets merged their brokerages to create N+1 Singer in July.

Investec took over Evolution for £230m and Canaccord swallowed Collins Stewart Hawkpoint for £252m at the end of 2011.

Seymour Pierce had done a deal to merge with Gerova Financial Group in early 2011, but the transatlantic merger was called off by chairman Keith Harris amid concerns about Gerova’s financial health. Gerova filed for bankruptcy protection last summer.