JC Rathbone Associates has acquired the social housing and bond advisory business of investment banking firm Canaccord Genuity taking its European client relationship team to 50.
Canaccord’s eight-strong team, led by Adrian Bell and Henrietta Podd, specialises in providing advice on raising debt and managing risk for clients in the UK social housing and property sectors.
Over the past 20 years, the Canaccord Genuity team has raised in the region of £7 billion of debt and advised 50 housing associations.
Bell and Podd have also advised several of the eight UK property companies which have raised debt capital in the last three and a half years via retail bond issues.
JCRA managing director John Edwards said: “We have known and worked with Adrian and Henrietta for years. They have a lot of clients and advisory work which dovetails remarkably well with ours. We’ve tended to work with northern-based housing associations and they’ve tended to work with southern housing associations, so that is an addition and a nice fit from our perspective.”
Independently-owned JCRA, which provides finance and risk management advice, worked with Canaccord this year on the Alpha Schools retail bond on behalf of Delancey’s Alpha Plus Group, raising £80 million of eight-year secured debt.
Edwards said the Canaccord team adds an enhanced range of experience and capability particularly in the private placement and retail bond market for JCRA.
“They are big on raising and listing bonds – they know the full process of listing on various stock exchanges and we haven’t done that. They have also had a lot of interaction with the credit agencies and we also like the fact they have been innovative.”
The acquisition takes JCRA’s client relationship advisors in Europe to 50, allowing the firm to create, said chief executive Jackie Bowie, “a powerful team with broad and proven experience.”
Canadian-headquartered Canaccord Genuity’s client base is heavily focused on metal and oil companies and it is the largest independent investment dealer in that country. However, with recent global market volatility in oil and commodities it is believed to have looked at slimming down its businesses.
Adrian Bell said his team and JCRA “share a strong common culture. Their skill base complements our own. We are confident we can expand coverage of our combined business into both debt advisory and origination.”
Separately, JCRA and UK-based debt advisor Laxfield Capital have ended an association they set up last year. JCRA Laxfield advised borrowers on sourcing debt capital, marking a departure for Laxfield away from solely advising lenders on origination and loan management.
Edwards said neither party had wanted to proceed to a business merger and both continue to operate in this area separately. “It was a major push to test the market and it proved there is a debt advisory requirement in the UK,” he said.
He added that JCRA recently advised UK REIT Empiric Student Housing on raising £80 million of long-dated debt, from Cornerstone.