Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The late Peter Meinerzthagen was one of the City’s most feared and revered corporate brokers. For more than 40 years, he was at the centre of more bids and mergers than any other financier in the City, having advised at least a third of the FTSE 100 industrialists in his time from Rolls-Royce to BAe.
When companies heard that Meinertzhagen was on the other side of a deal, they would get the attack dogs ready. He could sniff out a dud deal a mile away or come up with genius solutions in seconds: as one industrialist said of him, “Peter had the best nose in the business.” He was behind the break-up of Hanson, the giant buildings to brick conglomerate, the spin-off of the telecoms giant Vodafone and the merger between Glaxo Wellcome and Smith Kline Beecham merger to create Glaxo Smith Kline.
Meinerzthagen also adored the City, believing utterly in its reputation for integrity, certainly until the Americans banks came along post-Big Bang bringing with them their conflicts of interest and big money. But that’s another story.
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