Former Barclays chief Bob Diamond to buy stockbroker Panmure Gordon

Bob Diamond CEO of Barclays bank at the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool 5 May 2012

Panmure Gordon is one of the City's oldest firms with a history that dates back to the late nineteenth century.

But City observers point out that in recent years large corporates have drifted towards the more dedicated service advisory boutiques can provide.

Since then, he launched Atlas Mara, an investment firm focused on Africa, and Atlas Merchant Capital, which made its first acquisition in Europe last month, buying out the Athens-based consumer finance arm of France's Credit Agricole, reports The Guardian. QInvest is already Panmure's biggest shareholder.

The independent Panmure Gordon directors have unanimously recommend shareholders vote in favour of the deal.

The company relies on market activity such as stock market listings and secondary share offerings but has struggled in recent years with a slowdown in activity and stricter regulation.

Bob Diamond has joined forces with the Qatari royal family to buy Panmure Gordon, the loss-making stockbroker and investment bank.

Diamond did not comment in a statement confirming the deal, but Matthew Hansen, boss of Atlas in the United Kingdom and Europe, said: "We believe there is significant opportunity for Atlas, in partnership with QInvest, to apply our operational skills and financial services expertise to enhance Panmure Gordon's strong reputation and build a larger, successful boutique investment bank".

Diamond had in the years before his exit built up Barclays' investment bank into one of the world's leading players, with a more aggressive Wall Street culture creating tensions within the more traditional British bank.

Diamond is also an investor in NY brokerage South Street Securities Holdings Inc, which earlier this month agreed to buy Lebenthal Holdings LLC's asset-management business and a stake in broker-dealer Lebenthal & Co.

Diamond believes he has bought a strong brand, but he will have to invest in a firm that has been treading water for years. Panmure Gordon drew takeover interest a year ago from Mehmet Dalman, the former investment banker and chairman of Welsh soccer club Cardiff City, according to the Sunday Times in August. They have not set out a figure, although QInvest clearly has access to significant funds.

Diamond will have to use his four decades in the business to "add new talent".

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