‘I might have a proper holiday!’ Only woman to run City stockbroker steps down after 24 years
The most high-profile female stockbroker in the City has stepped down after nearly quarter of a century at the top.
Sam Smith, who founded FinnCap 24 years ago, took the decision to leave after clocking up some ‘unbelievable hours’ in recent months – adding that she now wanted some time to herself.
The 48-year-old – the only woman to run a City stockbroker – will hand over the reins to current managing partner John Farrugia in September. She will remain an adviser to the company.
Stepping down: Finncap founder Sam Smith took the decision to leave after clocking up some ‘unbelievable hours’ in recent months – adding that she now wanted some time to herself
Smith said: ‘As soon as you start thinking there’s an end date and you’re thinking about your successor, it just seems to snowball. That’s what happened to me.’
Smith, who has an eight-year-old daughter, added: ‘I’m really excited to have a break.
‘And finally, after 24 years, I might actually have a proper holiday where I don’t have to work every single day.’ Smith is one of the most recognisable faces in the City and led the way for women to enter the world of stockbroking, traditionally a place for white middle-aged men.
She headed the management buy-out of FinnCap from JM Finn in 2007, just two weeks after Northern Rock collapsed and aged just 33.
She built the business into a renowned mid-cap broker with revenues of £52million last year after helping clients raise £700million to secure funding during the pandemic and advising on almost 30 merger and acquisition transactions worth around £2billion.
Smith still owns 10 per cent of the firm which she wants to hold as a long-term investment.
She is best known for backing women in the industry. Of the company’s 149 employees, 38 per cent are female – an impressive ratio compared to some other City firms.
Her exit sent shares down 5.9 per cent, or 1.25p, to 20p.