Oriel CEO leaves after strategy clash

LONDON Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:27am EST

LONDON Feb 22 (Reuters) - Oriel Securities, one of London's niche stockbroking and corporate advisory firms, said Chief Executive David Knox had left after just five months in the role after a clash over strategy.

Founder and former CEO Simon Bragg will return as interim CEO with immediate effect, Oriel said in a brief statement on Friday.

"This follows David Knox's decision to step down as a result of divergent strategic ambitions," the statement said.

Oriel did not return calls for comment. It said Knox was not available and he did not immediately respond to an email.

Oriel poached Knox from U.S. bank J.P. Morgan last June to head its equities business, but he was then named interim CEO and the role became permanent in September.

Bragg returned from a sabbatical to be head of corporate finance when Knox became CEO. In that role he took responsibility for corporate clients.

Knox told Reuters in September he wanted to attract analysts and ramp up its coverage of larger firms to plug gaps left by bulge-bracket rivals cutting back in Europe.

Oriel was founded in 2002 and is owned by its staff. It has about 135 employees and specialises in advising mid-sized firms, with about 60 corporate broking clients.

Oriel said David Robins would remain as chairman.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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