Monday 29 March 2010

Five-minute Abchat: Simon Leathers, Daniel Stewart

This month, Abchurch spoke to Simon Leathers, a Director at investment bank Daniel Stewart & Company who challenges perceptions that Corporate Finance is a glamourous world of high-power deals and sharp suits.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to do something in the City although I had no real idea what everyone did! I guess at some level I wanted to be the father figure in Mary Poppins!

How did you get into Corporate Finance?
After my ACA with PwC I moved into TMT corporate finance for four years, before moving to Evolution Beeson Gregory. Three and half years later I moved to Daniel Stewart and have now been here for just over two years.

Describe your role in ten words or less (if that’s possible!):
Advisory service provided where transaction/project management meets business and public market regulatory advice.

If I wasn’t talking to you now, what would you be doing?
I would be reviewing a draft circular.

What is the most interesting thing about your work?
The variety – no two situations or deals are ever the same and whilst the basic tools at your disposal remain the same you are always learning new ways to apply them.

Is there a common misconception about Corporate Finance?
Yes – the public perception is that we spend our time in a rather glamorous world full of short sharp negotiations with high powered deal makers – sadly this is very rarely the case and the vast majority of our work is detailed, time consuming and slow to unfold.

How has the industry changed over the last couple of years?
Corporate Finance is particularly prone to well documented market investment cycles – over the past few years the junior public markets have been hit particularly hard as these always represented the riskier end of the equity markets.

What developments do you expect to see in the next twelve months?
As market stability returns so too will investor appetite for risk and reward – fiscal policy will be a key driver and so I expect the market participants to be keen observers of the general election.

You can find out more about Daniel Stewart's Corporate Finance services here.

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