The well-respected veteran, who began his career as a messenger at stockbroker Greener Dreyfus & Co in 1953 and launched hugely successful market-maker Winterflood Securities in 1988, believes that the biggest shift in the City is the fact that it has become more impersonal, with less time taken to cultivate relationships.
Winterflood recalls an early ‘love’ of the stock market: ‘I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and all of a sudden it got into my blood. The whole atmosphere of the City was all-embracing – you could see your career pattern somehow, which I thought was quite fantastic.’
After returning from national service, he became a jobber, who transacts business on the floor of the exchange but does not deal with the public, at a time when interaction on the market floor was at its peak.
‘It’s difficult to describe what life was like. I have been so fortunate to live through an absolutely magical period. When there was a floor in the exchange, you saw the same hundreds of people over the years, and that was very personal. Now, because you don’t have that mingling of people and because we are all sitting behind screens, it’s impersonal.’
Winterflood cites helping to promote the Unlisted Securities Market to the London Stock Exchange in 1980 as a career highlight, saying that the listing not only protected investors, but also gave his company a ‘wonderful platform’. He comments, ‘We became kings of the USM market, and then some years later we became kings of the AIM market.’
Life president at Winterflood Securities, which is now connected to financial conglomerate Close Brothers, Winterflood remains active, mainly involved in networking to promote the business, and he is bullish about the future of the company he began.
He says, ‘We will remain the same, the last jobber in the world, for some time to come. We will be here and we never pull the plug, and as long as we are not overregulated out of the trade, we will go on growing.’