The former group chief executive at Barclays bank has taken a stake in European agency broker, Kepler Cheuvreux, alongside Edmond de Rothschild Equity Strategies (ERES).
Atlas Merchant Capital, led by former Barclays boss Bob Diamond, has taken a 19.7% stake while ERES, part of the Edmond de Rothschild Group, has taken an 8% stake.
Both companies join current investors in Kepler Cheuvreux, including European banks UniCredit, Crédit Agricole CIB, Rabobank, Swedbank and Belfius.
At the same time, BlackFin Capital Partners, which invested in the broker in 2011, has disposed of its shareholding while UniCredit has increased its stake in Kepler Cheuvreux from 5.2% to 10.3%.
Laurent Quirin, Kepler Cheuvreux’s supervisory board chairman, explained that the company will look to leverage the expertise and contacts of both Atlas Merchant Capital and Bob Diamond as it did previously with BlackFin Capital.
Both Atlas and ERES will help us to invest in our organic expansion and in our targeted acquisition strategy,” Quirin said. “We believe that MiFID II and bank disintermediation create opportunities. We envisage signing more alliances with banks which are looking to outsource processes or businesses.”
Atlas Capital Management’s head of UK and European business, Matthew Hansen, added that the decision to invest in Kepler Cheuvreux was based on an analysis of their market positions in pan-European research, advisory and execution.
“In research, which is the cornerstone of their business, they have the largest research coverage in mainland Europe and are prospering in the post MiFID II research environment,” Hansen said. “In execution, they have an algorithmic trading capability which competes head-to-head with the global brokers.”
“We have been tremendously impressed by the entrepreneurial management and we intend to use our operational skills and financial services expertise to support them.”
The management at Kepler Cheuvreux will maintain operational control of the company in order to guarantee long-term independence, despite the changes in shareholders.