By Design Portfolio - 31 Jan 2017

Brian Winterflood.jpg

At 8.00am today, 31 January 2017, Brian Winterflood rang the bell of his “beloved stock exchange” for the very last time after 60 years in the City. Design Portfolio’s Chairman, Ian Restall, was invited to the momentous occasion.

A legend in the securities industry, Brian has had an illustrious career spanning a revolutionary period in the financial world, which makes for an inspirational “rags to riches” story.

From humble beginnings as a general dogsbody for stockbrokers Greener Dreyfus & Co in 1953, and then as a “jobber” at Bisgood Bishop’s family partnership, he rose through the ranks with passion, an exemplary work ethic and an unshakeable dedication to the success of the SmallCap market.

He played a key role in the establishment of “The Unlisted Market” (USM) in November 1980. It was then that Brian met Ian Restall, who was a broker in the City at the time and subsequently the founder, editor and publisher of the USM magazine.

Brian continued to champion smaller companies and helped the LSE establish the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 1995. Ian founded the AIM Awards, mirroring the success of the PLC Awards, created ten years prior, and their relationship grew.

In unstable trading conditions, Brian started a firm of his own and Winterflood Securities (WINS) was born. Brian had always fought against the “snobbery in the City” and was a pillar of strength, willing to speak his mind and stand his ground against the elite corporate financier departments. WINS was sold to Close Brothers for £19m in 1993.

Brian’s tenure as Life President of the Securities Industry Management Association (SIMA) and President of the Quoted Companies Alliance creates an impressive legacy.  

He was rewarded in 2012 for his service to the securities industry when he was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE).

As we enter into another period of global financial, economic and political uncertainty it does concern most that the Stock Exchange could be repositioned in Frankfurt and accounted for in Euros. Somewhat reassuringly, Brian stated:

“Brexit has made – and continues to make – for interesting times, but I believe we can always stand alone and still be great.”

It was an emotional day for our own Chairman, Ian Restall, who has known Brian for the best part of 45 years:

“Brian is both a wonderful person and a tough nut and I’m privileged to have known him, and his wife Doreen, for such a large part of my working life. The City will not see his like again, and I wish him and Doreen many more years of happiness together.”

This year Brian celebrates his 80th year and often describes himself as “the luckiest man in the world”. London City will certainly not be the same without him.