Panmure Liberum goes back to the future
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Panmure Liberum goes back to the future

The midcap broker needs new business lines to survive a prolonged IPO drought.

Rich Ricci, Panmure Gordon | Photo: Reuters

The decline in IPOs in the UK and in M&A deals is bad news for domestic investment banks. But self-help is always the best remedy. One of the few bright sparks in the gloom is consolidation among brokers that serve UK mid-caps.

Last year, Cenkos Securities merged with finnCap, and Deutsche Bank paid a premium to acquire Numis, corporate broker to 166 listed UK companies, also adding its decent research capabilities.

In January 2024, Panmure Gordon agreed a merger with Liberum to create what the two claim will be the largest UK independent investment bank. It will have 250 quoted corporate clients with an average market cap of £250 million. The parties cite Dealogic data to claim the new Panmure Liberum would rank number one for UK IPOs of under £1 billion market capitalization during the past five years.

A glance at their accounts, however, shows that recently this has not been a great business to be a leader in.

Neither firm has reported full-year 2023 numbers yet, but the data suggests this was the slowest year in a generation for UK listings.

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