Panmure Gordon Says CEO to Step Down, Sees Second-Half Loss

Panmure Gordon & Co. said Chief Executive Officer Tim Linacre will step down as the British stockbroker expects to report a second-half loss.

Linacre, 52, will remain in the position he’s held for the past six years until a successor is identified, the London-based broker said in a statement today. He will then remain on the board and focus on working with his clients, the company said.

London’s stockbrokers are posting losses as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis roils markets, forcing companies to delay initial public offerings and investors to cut the number of shares they trade. Shrinking revenue is prompting firms to try to acquire one another. Panmure last year spurned an approach from London-based competitor Evolution Group Plc.

“Recent severe market turmoil has caused the deferral of a number of sizeable investment banking transactions from the fourth quarter of 2011 into 2012 in both the U.K. and the U.S.,” the company said. “As a consequence of this, the group will now report a loss for the second half of the year.”

The shares fell 22 percent to 10.5 pence as of 12:25 p.m. in London trading. The stock has slumped 66 percent this year, paring the firm’s market value to about 15.6 million pounds ($24 million). The broker sold a 44 percent stake in itself to Qatari investment bank QInvest for 23 million pounds in 2009.

Panmure said it will also review the valuation of some intangible assets held on the balance sheet. That may require the firm to write down some of the 18 million pounds of goodwill the broker incurred from prior acquisitions, Linacre said in a telephone interview. Panmure Gordon purchased U.S. broker ThinkEquity for $62 million in 2007.

Goodwill is an accounting convention that represents the amount paid for an acquisition over and above the fair value of its net assets. Under the accounting rules British companies use, the International Financial Reporting Standards, companies have to write down goodwill on their balance sheets if the underlying assets have permanently deteriorated in value.

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