STOCKBROKER Teather & Greenwood refused to comment on the future of its Liverpool office last night, after it emerged that joint managing director Mike Sawbridge is joining rivals Shore Capital, the independent investment group in Fenwick Street, Liverpool.
Also joining the Shore team from Teather is Margaret Standish, a corporate finance specialist.
The pair's move to establish a corporate finance department at Shore's office will produce the largest investment banking team in the North West, it is claimed.
Mr Sawbridge and Ms Standish look after 17 clients at Teather's Liverpool branch, and it is expected some will follow them to Shore.
They have been working together for the last 11 years, having both worked at Rathbones, a Liverpool asset-management company, before Teather's.
Last night, nobody at Teather & Greenwood was prepared to comment on the situation or whether they would be pulling out of the city altogether following the departures.
If the branch does close, it is expected the company's Liverpool business will be conducted from its London office.
Graham Shore of Shore Capital told the Daily Post he was looking forward to the arrival of the two newcomers.
He said: "They're very experienced and have got a very good reputation in the North West and throughout the country." Mr Sawbridge specialises in smaller growth companies and the venture capital trust sector.
Mr Shore said he was optimistic about the opportunities that recent changes to trusts' tax rules presented for small and medium businesses.
"These trusts over this year and next will raise hundreds of millions. It is a condition of the tax rules that the trusts must invest in smaller growing companies.
"Good small, growing companies need corporate finance advisers with experienced people.
"We'll be able to help these companies in the North West that don't want to deal with London-based advisers."