15 JUNE 1996, Page 27

. . . it's Rupert's reinvention

IT IS ten years since Rupert Hambro peeled off from his family bank. With his father and two brothers, he set up J.O. Hambro — named for Jocelyn, his father, and in City parlance a boutique. He told me at the time that he would be delighted never to have to decide the night-watch- man's salary again. While bigger banks were floundering about, his handy new ves- sel made waves — or, as my headline put it, 'Rupert's racing dinghy whizzes past NatWest's costly yacht'. Then George Magan came on board. He had been a mighty dealmaker for Morgan Grenfell, and he too was ready for a change of scene. Soon Hambro Magan as financial advisers were involved in the biggest deals of all. They advised the Swiss Bank Corporation when it bought the house of Warburg, and a new tombstone — the merchant banker's term for the announcement of a done deal — seems to pop up in the paper every week. That is what I call reinvention.