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A Cazenove sale was always on the cards
by Charlie Parker on Mar 22, 2013 at 14:47
It was always on the cards that the employees who own a large share of Cazenove Capital Management would want to sell.
But it was not until last night that we connected the dots and realised that Schroders would do well to bid for the whole of Andrew Ross-led Cazenove (pictured), giving partners the capital event they have wanted for some time.
Culturally there is a lot that ties these two firms together. Indeed, as City names go there are few as respected as Cazenove and Schroders. The firms share a restrained investment culture with a focus on equity investment. There will be significant overlaps between teams. In particular Chris Rice’s European franchise at Cazenove will be a challenge to a wide-range of European funds at Schroders. But overall the arrival of a UK equity team at the top of its game at Cazenove will boost Schroders at a crucial moment.
One big question is what will happen to the Cazenove name. It has real cache and if Schroders choose not to use it well that would feel like a bit of a waste. In particular it may be keen to preserve it for the private client business it is acquiring, at least for some time.
Of the two grand City dynasties Schroders is the senior in age. It was founded in 1804 by Johann Heinrich Schroder. It wasn't until 1823 that Philip Cazenove founded his broking business.
Both were businesses founded by brothers. The Cazenoves were French though and the Schroders Prussians. Whilst the Queen’s stockbroker Cazenove may only be able to count members of the German aristocracy as its clients, Schroders can count them as its owners.
Of course the name will be preserved in the quite separate sell-side brokerage JP Morgan Cazenove. But somehow the heart of the history was always in the side of the business that was inherited by Cazenove Capital.
It was there that the truly blue-blooded nature of Cazenove was carried on. Who could forget that anecdote from CityBoy in his famous book about turning up for an interview. He asked to take off his jacket and was told ‘potatoes wear jackets, gentlemen wear coats’. The firm still has a place to buff your shoes outside its meeting rooms, but then boots are always pretty well buffed over at Schroders too. There will be no clash in the dress policy between these two firms if and when they get together.
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