If you're an equity capital markets banker who's looking for a new job in London now, you might want to ping your CV to Berenberg. It's in particular need of a special kind of individual.
The Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA's) newly released list of sponsors for August reveals that Berenberg's status as a sponsor has been suspended. The bank only obtained its UK sponsor licence around 18 months ago.
Sponsors can be large investment banks, smaller corporate finance houses as well as accounting and legal firms. Under the UK regime their role is to provide guidance and advice to companies with premium listings, or that are seeking premium listings. Premium listings apply to 'commercial companies,' and various types of funds. Companies with premium listings typically have a lower cost of capital because they're expected to meet the UK's highest standards of regulation and corporate governance.
Without a sponsor licence, basically, it's not going to be easy for Berenberg to participate in big UK equity capital markets deals.
So why has the German bank's sponsor license been suspended? Berenberg isn't commenting, but we understand it's because the bank hasn't done the kind of market transaction that requires a sponsor declaration since it gained its licence 18 months ago.
"A combination of bad luck on a couple of transactions which didn’t complete through no fault of our own and the generally very quiet UK ECM market worked against us," says one insider, speaking off the record.
The good news for anyone looking for a job is that Berenberg intends to remedy this situation by hiring someone with recent sponsor experience. Presumably they want to appoint them as soon as possible.
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