C Hoare hires outsider for top job

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One of the City’s oldest and most exclusive private banks has recruited a new chief executive from outside its family ranks as it attempts to take advantage of the turmoil in the financial sector.

C Hoare & Co, the 337-year-old family-owned bank, has hired Jeremy Marshall, former head of Credit Suisse’s private bank in the UK, to be its chief executive. He replaces Alexander Hoare, a direct descendant of the bank’s founder, who is giving up his executive duties after eight years in charge.

The appointment underscores the growing appeal of independent private banks as large financial institutions grapple with the impact of the financial crisis on their perceived solidity. The private banking world has also been rocked by the US government’s aggressive pursuit of UBS, the Swiss bank, which is alleged to have helped Americans avoid paying US tax.

C Hoare, which was founded in 1672 by Richard Hoare and still operates from the premises on Fleet Street it moved to several years later, is the sole survivor among “deposit banks” that were founded in the 17th and 18th centuries. Former clients include Samuel Pepys, the diarist, the painter Thomas Gainsborough and Lord Byron, the poet.

Mr Hoare said the financial turmoil gave the bank an opportunity to continue its recent expansion, which has seen its balance sheet increase to £1.8bn and its customer base expand to 10,000.

“The more people lack confidence in the big banks that have been found lacking, the more they want to come to a bank they can trust,” he said.

The bank accepts only wealthy clients who have been introduced by an existing customer. Nevertheless, Mr Hoare said the bank was turning away nine out of 10 approaches because it did not want to expand too quickly.

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