Shipbroker Braemar looks set to expand further after building its securities operations.

The London-listed UK group brought in the 10-strong former Arraco Global Markets natural gas desk this month.

And chief executive James Gundy told TradeWinds more news is expected soon on the growth front.

“There are some things that we are looking at. There’s a good chance those could be executed as well,” he said.

“You can build desks and add more brokers, but the fact is you really have to diversify to grow your revenue lines.”

Braemar’s securities division now accounts for 12% of revenue, up from 3% in 2019.

“There will be synergies with other desks, and it’s going to add more information,” Gundy said.

“We’ll add on to what we have, but at the same time we’ve said we want to diversify in the broking space.”

This could include “anything that complements shipbroking”, whether that is in finance or securities, Gundy explained.

Chief financial officer Nick Stone said: “We’ve also got geographical gaps in the coverage. So some of the things we already do well in some locations, there are opportunities to build that in other geographies.”

Bigger is better

The broking landscape has been changed this month by the announcement of the merger of UK shop Galbraiths and Swiss broker Ifchor.

Gundy said this deal was “good to see”.

He told TradeWinds: “I’m a firm believer in consolidation.

“Shipbroking isn’t regulated, but with our clients scrutinised more and more regarding KYC [know your customer] the bigger clients will feel more comfortable working with the big shops.”

It is less than two years since Gundy took charge of the company and set about shedding non-core engineering and logistics businesses.

“The big achievement is putting the team together and making sure we’re all unified in our decisions, because before, there were a lot of different directions. Now we’re all on the same journey,” he said.

Capacity under strain

And business is brisk.

Stone said: “There’s a real buzz when you come into the office. It’s very full. We’re looking at ways of creating more desks.”

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Braemar now has a “decision to make” over the next six months about whether to stay in the Trafalgar Square base in inner London.

The 10-year lease comes up for renewal in September 2024.