Viscount Bridport, Chairman, Bridport
Alexander Nelson Hood, 4th Viscount Bridport.
In 1990, Lord Bridport, then a managing director at Shearson Lehman Hutton Finance (SLHF) in Geneva, began to wonder whether he could make a living in Switzerland as an independent fixed-income agency broker. He would, he thought, take no positions at any time, but simply attach himself to the investor, and "help him in the jungle".
We are sitting in the London house of Bridport's friend Tim von Halle, who recently gave up his job at WestLB in order to open the London branch of Bridport (awaiting SFA approval and due to start business in July). Bridport and von Halle's paths crossed a couple of years ago when von Halle wanted WestLB to buy Bridport. "We might well have done a deal," remembers Bridport. "We were growing too slowly, and we couldn't see what we needed to get to the next level." But it never happened, and Bridport suggested von Halle come and join him instead. "Although it wasn't immediately obvious," says Bridport, "I think the answer was most definitely that we could [attach ourselves to the investor]. Otherwise we wouldn't be sitting here today.