Panmure Gordon’s announcement that it is to open an office in Leeds is encouraging. In the past 12 months the stockbroker/investment bank has handled four IPOs, including WANdisco of Sheffield, and the plans for a new office indicate that the firm expects to find many more potential stockmarket stars in the region.
I suppose the real surprise is that it considers the expense of having an office to be necessary. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Panmure Gordon was responsible for the flotation of a large number of IPOs in Yorkshire and the North East, including Polypipe, Spring Ram, Barratt Steel, Reg Vardy and Sheffield Insulation Group.
The driver in these cases was Panmure’s director, the late Pat O’Reilly, who worked closely with Martin Shaw of lawyers Simpson Curtis, and David Haxby of chartered accountants Arthur Andersen. He never needed a formal office in the region. When he was in Yorkshire, he would set up camp in La Grillade in Wellington Street, where people knew where to find him.
Pat is now dead, Arthur Andersen is defunct, Simpson Curtis has disappeared into Pinsents (although Martin is still active) and Panmure Gordon is no longer an independent broker. But I hope that Joanne Lake can conjure up some of the old magic. It would be good for the Yorkshire economy and might also provide a bit of fun.