Deloittes poach top City duo

Deloitte & Touche this week boosted its corporate finance arm afterision. poaching two high profile investment bankers to join a new debt financing team.

The team, which will operate under the name Capital Consulting Group, is part of a drive by the firm to beat off Big Five rivals for advisory work from FTSE 250 companies.

Ian Jamieson, the firm’s head of corporate finance, said there was strong demand for independent debt finance advice. He said larger companies had grown wary of approaching investment banks at an early stage in their planning process because they had products to sell on the back of their advice.

‘We are also not deal driven,’ he said, ‘it is the relationships that are key to advice work.’

David Karat, a former director of Barclays Capital, joins Mike Williamson, a former director of Credit Suisse First Boston, at Deloittes. Both of them worked at SG Warburg during the 1980s and were part of the break up and sale of BZW to CSFB last year.

KPMG set up a similar unit earlier this year when it appointed two former SG Warburg financiers of similar standing, Trevor Bush and Simon Collins.

David Beever, chairman of KPMG corporate finance and himself a former banker, said top-level debt finance advice was a necessary part of corporate finance work, and that to give that advice ‘you need high-quality practitioners’.

Jamieson said bringing Karat and Williamson on board had been ‘a big investment’, but was confident the move would prove successful.

‘We have always had the infrastructure and we have been growing the credibility to match it. These two guys are about adding to our credibility. They also clearly define our independence away from peddling other products,’ he said.

Karat said they had already set up a series of meetings with former contacts to discuss acquisition finance and capital restructurings.

‘It is difficult to preserve confidentiality if you talk to investment banks at an early stage,’ said Karat. ‘We are able to offer confidential advice without any conflicts of interest.’

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