James Simpson, the former co-head of advisory for EMEA at HSBC, has just teamed up with the bank’s ex-global head of financial sponsors to launch a private equity boutique in Mayfair.
Simpson is co-founder of DuCanon Capital Partners along with Matteo Canonaco, the former head of financial sponsors, sovereign wealth funds and IPC coverage at HSBC.
Canonaco left HSBC in June 2015 to launch his own venture, and started DuCanon in January 2016. Simpson joined the new venture in March, having left his role at HSBC in November last year.
DuCanon describes itself as “an advisory firm focused on delivering private and alternative capital solutions to support strategic events”. It’s based in Hay Hill in London’s Mayfair and has yet to either register with Companies House, or receive approval on the Financial Conduct Authority register. Simpson didn’t respond to requests for further comment.
Simpson joined HSBC in July 2014 from UBS where he head of financial sponsors and latterly focused on private equity clients. At HSBC he was managing a team of around 120 bankers. He spent 18 years at UBS in various senior roles. Canonaco, meanwhile, joined HSBC from Lazard in 2004 and spent 11 years at the bank before leaving in 2015 to go it alone.
Since the installation of former Goldman Sachs banker Matthew Westerman as head of HSBC’s global banking division in May last year, its investment bank has undergone some sweeping changes.
John Crompton, its head of corporate finance in London, is currently on sabbatical after leaving in June as did Florian Fautz, global head of M&A and Charles Spencer, its head of mid-market origination for the UK and Ireland.
HSBC announced plans to cut 100 senior investment banking jobs in January, alongside introducing a “much harsher” year end review and system that monitors how investment bankers spend their time.
Maybe senior bankers are therefore deciding that they’re better off using their skills under their own steam. It’s certainly a broader trend among senior investment bankers - Peter Bell, the former head of UK M&A at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, launched his own corporate finance boutique Cardean Bell in November and Andrew Kass, an MD in Deutsche Bank’s internet investment banking team, started a boutique called Blackwatch Advisors earlier this year.