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Bankers leaving on disputes about superiority and free fruit

Who is best? Is it the FinnCap people who have allegedly been the beneficiaries of a relaxed culture allowing for free bananas and generous holidays, or the Cenkos people who didn't the same perks but seemingly had a meritocratic and entrepreneurial environment (says Glassdoor)?

It's a relevant question after the fusion of Cenkos and FinnCap gave birth to Cavendish, which emerged this week and already seems to be losing quite a few people. 

We already noted some of these exits, but various of you have been in touch to say that the voluntary departures have been far more extensive than we reported. As well as Leigh Webb, the former head of financial sponsor coverage at FinnCap, there are many others. 

They include Chris Malcolm, FinnCap's former head of technology bank and Mark Kingston, FinnCap's former head of human capital M&A, both are joining Oppenheimer with Webb. Meanwhile, Alex Pollen, a former director of sales is joining Berenberg; Chris Raggett, the former co-head of corporate finance at FinnCapp is joining Allenby Capital; and Rhys William's FinnCap's head of equities, has declared he's departing in search of a new challenge.

As we noted yesterday, some of the exits are involuntary as the newly formed Cavendish prunes staff, but many of those listed above are not - people are leaving of their own accords. Cavendish isn't commenting, but one insider suggests the departures are many.

What's the problem? Some are simply leaving because they want a change, or think that business will be better elsewhere. But part of the issue seems to be that Cenkos and Finncap had different cultures and that this is making their fusion as Cavendish a bit problematic. Whereas Finncap had the free bananas and the unlimited holidays (the holidays were introduced to stop burnout in 2021 and then seemingly cancelled in April 2023, although insiders claim no one was actually told about the cancellation until it was too late), Cenkos didn't and its people felt a bit more grown up.

Because of this, some FinnCap people are complaining that the new world of Cavendish is less fun. "Finncap used to be a friendly and professional place," says one insider. "But most of the top jobs are going to the Cenkos people and they don't seem friendly at all."

That sounds a shame. But a senior banker at a rival small firm in London, says it's hardly surprising that Cenkos people are getting the best jobs. "Cenkos people consider themselves higher quality and this is the case in sales and research. But FinnCap has a nice M&A boutique," they observe. 

Cavendish declined to comment.

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Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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