15 Mar 2021

Clifford Chance London partner set to be fintech’s first GC

Corporate finance heavyweight Iain Hunter will join PrimaryBid in May

By Roman Edwards

Image courtery of PrimaryBid

PrimaryBid, a fintech platform that allows retail investors to invest in new shares issued by public companies, has named Clifford Chance partner Iain Hunter as its first general counsel.

Hunter will conclude over 20 years as a partner at Clifford Chance to join PrimaryBid’s executive team in London in May. He brings almost three decades of experience in international equity capital markets and public markets corporate advisory to his new role.

Hunter had previously served at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer before joining Clifford Chance in 2000. Most recently, his work has focused on advising those involved in raising equity capital and advising listed companies on matters including risk, governance and market compliance.

At PrimaryBid, he’s expected to ensure compliance and play a key role in supporting product definition and strategic partnerships as the startup expands overseas.

Hunter said it’s an “exciting” time to join the platform, given the “increasing focus on retail investor involvement in capital raising and the ever-growing importance to business of technology solutions and digital transformation.”

Like fellow trading platforms Freetrade and Robinhood, PrimaryBid saw a surge of Covid-related interest in 2020. Ocado offered shares on the platform when it raised £1bn last June to deal with its own Covid-related spike in demand, with PrimaryBid announcing in October it had raised $50m in a Series B funding round that included investment from the London Stock Exchange Group, Draper Esprit and OMERS Ventures.

PrimaryBid CEO Anand Sambasivan praised Hunter’s “exceptional” capital markets know-how, adding that the platform’s team has focused this year on its IPO product and delivering high-quality digital execution for issuers and their advisers as they “enfranchise the public.”

Sambasivan is an outspoken believer in the benefits of retail investment and helped to craft an open letter to the bosses of listed companies last April, urging them to let retail investors be part of new fundraising. The letter has had thousands of signatures, including from ordinary investors, politicians and captains of industry such as Hargreaves Lansdown founder Peter Hargreaves.

PrimaryBid's current investment opportunities include stakes in pension provider PensionBee and meal-delivery service Parsley Box, as well as £50m of shares in the prospective London IPO of Deliveroo, announced 8 March. Deliveroo is expected to float at around £5bn.

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