Earlier this year Clyde & Co revealed a 33 per cent climb in corporate revenue, from £53m to £70.7m.
Clydes has seen incremental growth in income from corporate and M&A over the past few years, since initiating a long-term strategy to plug gaps in its key sectors in order to build on its corporate commercial offering.
In 2010/11 corporate generated just 16 per cent of Clydes’ firmwide £212m income – a total of £33.9m. That rose to 18.5 per cent in 2011/12 and by a further 2.5 percentage points to 21 per cent of total revenue last year.
The latest results reveal some of the impact of Clydes’ 2011 merger with Barlow Lyde Gilbert (BLG), which contributed in a major way to the 36 per cent rise in total turnover at the end of 2011/12, from £287m to £336.6m.
The BLG merger strengthened Clydes’ financial institutions practice and gave its drive towards international development added momentum. With the UK market still largely stagnant, Clydes is more focused on growing its presence in overseas markets, although 55 per cent of its corporate income was generated in the UK last year.
In 2012/13, the firm opened offices in Australia, Libya and Beijing, a reflection of Clydes’ growing dependence on the Middle East and Asia Pacific, where respectively 32 per cent and 9 per cent of its total corporate income was generated in 2012/13, the balance being from Europe and the Americas.
International expansion is an ongoing strategy this year, with the firm’s sights firmly set on commodities-rich regions where it believes there is the potential to leverage its growing corporate practice off of its existing network of insurance clients.
In particular the corporate practice has set its ambitions on further growth in the Asia Pacific. Corporate insurance chief Andrew Holderness has just returned from two years building on the firm’s presence in the region. At the start of this month Clydes established a joint venture with Chongqing-based West Link facilitated by the mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).
In September it revealed plans to enter into a formal association with seven-partner Indonesian firm Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo. This followed news in December last year that Clydes was to form a joint venture with its Singaporean association firm Clasis. There were also openings in Madrid, through the hire of a four-partner team from DAC Beachcroft, and in Atlanta.
With North America generating just 2 per cent of the firm’s corporate revenue last year and Europe 1 per cent, there is scope for Clydes to increase its corporate offering in these regions over the coming year.
Clydes’ top five recent deals
1 Clydes advised on the Finnish banking and insurance group OP-Pohjola’s €1.3bn (£1.09bn) acquisition of Arum Investment Insurance, previously held by Skandia Life Assurance Company.
2 The firm represented Swiss Re on the purchase of the $950m (£590m) run-off business of Zurich Specialties London.
3 It eAdvised Nigeria-headquartered Sea Trucks Group on a five-year $575m Norwegian bond issue.
4 Clydes helped Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company on its $500m investment in EnQuest.
5 It worked with biotechnology company, FibroGen on its $350m product development collaboration with AstraZeneca in China.
Corporate lateral hires
Recent lateral hires at Clydes’ corporate practice have focused on the developing regions of MEA and Asia Pacific but Europe was bolstered this year too.
In the past 18 months, three laterals joined in the Middle East, including former Simmons & Simmons partner Imran Sami and Holman Fenwick & Willan partner Rhys Lewis in Dubai.
Meanwhile the firm brought in Mayer Brown head of corporate insurance Martin Mankabady in London and Yannis Samothrakis from Dewey & LeBoeuf in Paris.