Leesa Peters, the spirited Australian public relations lady who has steered many a colourful mining prospector towards the Square Mile, is one person in the City not surprised by ex-fund manager Stephen Hazell-Smith’s departure from the chair at entrepreneurial broking outfit Hoodless Brennan. He has become chairman of her firm, Conduit PR, which has so far tended to specialise in smaller resource companies, many from her home country.
‘I have been trying to get him for a year,’ boasts Peters who believes Hazell-Smith, an experienced player formerly with the Close Brothers finance and investment group, will help Conduit enlarge its scope and credibility.
‘There is nothing like a bit of grey hair to reassure companies,’ she argues. Conduit wants to expand its presence in leisure, oil and support services and offer advice to clients on issues such as pre-float funding, for which Hazell-Smith’s experience and contacts would come in handy.