City broker Peel Hunt posts record investment banking fees

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City broker Peel Hunt has posted record investment banking revenues as UK trading volumes have soared this year and its client list has grown.

The broker, which listed on London’s AIM market in September, posted record investment banking revenues of £32.7m, a 42% increase on a year ago.

Steven Fine, managing director of Peel Hunt, said Financial News that results were in line with expectations and that trading volumes, down sharply from the previous year, remained above pre-pandemic levels.

“Everyone knew at the start of the pandemic that this was an exceptional situation, which was a catalyst for volatility,” he said, adding that the pipeline of potential IPOs remained strong.

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Peel Hunt said it increased its number of investment banking clients retained to 158, despite losing some to mergers and acquisitions activity throughout the year.

Overall revenue for the half to September 29 was £71.4 million, down 23% from the prior period, it said in a statement. Profits of £26.7m were down 52% as trading revenue fell nearly 60% to £24m.

Rival broker FinnCap revealed on November 17 that it was offering unlimited staff vacations in a bid to tackle burnout as bankers worked long hours during an unprecedented trading boom.

Fine said Peel Hunt has offered staff 30 days of vacation a year for the past four years, as well as a six-week sabbatical if they’ve served for a decade.

“I’m always a bit skeptical about giving people anything unlimited because sometimes they feel guilty taking it,” he said. “For us looking after people is a big part of our ESG approach and we want to be caring and find the right work-life balance.”

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Peel Hunt moved into new offices at 100 Liverpool Street over the summer and Fine said around 60 per cent of staff arrived regularly. However, in October he asked all eligible staff to return to the office for two weeks and plans to bring all staff in for a week for a “big bang every two months”.

“You’re dealing with a cohort of employees who much prefer to work from the office,” he said. “It’s good for juniors, for personal development, for organizational culture and learning, all those things that are hard to do in 2D.”

To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Paul Clarke

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