Jay Hambro, the “ultimate salesman” behind Sanjeev Gupta GFG

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During the 2017-18 Australian Tour of the English Cricket Team, members of Parliament from the two countries went to the stadium outside Sydney to participate in the final match of the parallel “Parliament Ashes” series.

In the audience, including the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his predecessor John Howard, the British metal giant Sanjiv Gupta was the sponsor of the tour of British politicians, he bought it four months ago The Whyalla Steel Plant in southern Australia.

Also watched in the bright summer sun was a red-faced Englishman, Jay Hambro, a descendant of the London banking dynasty. His deep connections helped promote Gupta’s ruthless transaction and served the political world. People and lenders opened the door.

Now, after the collapse of Greensill Capital, Gupta’s main lender, Gupta is struggling to maintain the operation of his GFG alliance, and now the rift is threatening their relationship.After disagreements in the asset sale, the 45-year-old Hambro prepares to leave GFG, Is being investigated by the UK Serious Fraud Office.

Hambro is tall, broad-shouldered, and burly, helping Gupta enter a global bank for the first time, bringing credibility to the Indian-born businessman’s efforts to become an international force in the metal industry.

“I can understand why Sanjeev wants him to be by his side-he is very influential-without his signature, nothing happened inside GFG,” said a banker who worked with GFG. “Without Jay by his side, I don’t think he would be where he is now.”

One of Gupta’s largest transactions was the acquisition of Dunkirk aluminum smelter from Rio Tinto in 2018. Hambro helped it obtain a US$350 million loan from a consortium of banks such as Morgan Stanley and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China-this is the first time for GFG Obtain a traditional bank loan.

According to a banker involved in the transaction, he published an “awesome PowerPoint presentation” and he described Hambro as the “ultimate salesman” and “promising a lot of things to many banks.”

His family tradition can be traced back to Baron Carl Joachim Hambro, a Danish who founded Hambros Bank in London in 1839. He grew up in the closely connected world of finance and mining.

At the age of 17, Hambro, who had been educated in Harrow, was taken away by his father Peter because he and his brother Evy worked in the mines in Australia for some time.After earning a degree in business management at Newcastle University, he worked in Natural Resources Bank before joining Rothschild and HSBC Petropavlovsk, A Russian gold miner co-founded by his father.

The Pokrovskiy hard rock gold mine owned by Petropavlovsk in the Amur region of the Russian Far East © Igor Ageyenko/AFP

Later, his task was to manage Petropavlovsk’s iron ore deposit in the Russian Far East, which was spun off in 2010 into a Hong Kong-listed iron river spot. Glencore.

IRC’s independent non-executive director Johnny Martin Smith (Johnny Martin Smith) said: “He really does his homework seriously and has incredible listening and learning abilities-he is a very impressive People.” “If Simon says something unfair, he will tell him whether Glencore is the chairman or not.”

Petropavlovsk acted as the guarantor of a US$340 million loan provided to the company by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in China, for the construction of an iron mine. In the email, IRC was marked as a member of the “Petropavlovsk Union”.

“This is a family affair,” a banker said.

However, people who knew Hambro said he wanted to get rid of his father’s shadow. In 2016, Gupta provided him with a way to exit the family business.

Hambro became the Group Chief Investment Officer of GFG and was responsible for the acquisition of Wyelands Bank and the company’s energy investment portfolio that year.

At its peak, Wyelands collected more than £700 million in deposits from British depositors, which were mainly lent to companies connected to GFG. The documents show that Wyelands is under investigation by the National Crime Agency and the Office of Serious Fraud, and Hambro has left the board of directors.

Hambro’s idea is to establish a renewable energy supply for the company’s steel plants and other industrial assets, thereby reducing electricity costs, while also helping decarbonize operations. In the long run, he hopes to create a mining asset portfolio for the company.

Jay Hambro and Sanjeev Gupta travel the world to trade © Drahoslav Ramik/CTK Photo/Alamy

He quickly became Gupta’s right-hand man, traveling the world, handling transactions from Australia to Europe and the United States. According to a person who knows him, Hambro is a veteran internet expert who “likes to do business”.

In Scotland, Hambro helped Gupta gain political support, including the support of the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.government Council of Ministers Register It shows that Fergus Ewing, Minister of Rural Economy, had dinner with Hambro four times in the six months from September 2017 to May 2018.

GFG acquired the last British aluminum smelter in Lochaber, as well as two nearby hydroelectric power plants acquired from Rio Tinto in 2016, saving jobs and saving important industrial assets. The acquisition was backed by a government guarantee worth 575 million pounds.

According to people familiar with the matter, Macquarie decided to stop any business with the company in 2018 because of concerns about its funding sources. Macquarie declined to comment.

Hambro managed to bring in JPMorgan Chase as the company’s broker West McAtlantis, A tidal power company, he handled the acquisition of Gupta.The Wall Street bank also helped Gupta’s Australian subsidiary Infrabuild arrange bond sales, which improve 325 million US dollars, the rate of return is 12%. JPMorgan Chase declined to comment.

Other energy transactions handled by Hambro include 2017 take over Scottish hydropower developer Green Highland Renewables.

However, renewable energy projects are struggling. In the past five years, the share price of Simec Atlantis, where Hambro is a member of the board of directors, has fallen 86%.

Now, as GFG struggles to survive, the reputation of Gupta and his former right-hand man is at stake.

A former government minister stated that Hambro seemed “very satisfied with himself and a perfect anonymous”, adding that given the possible consequences of the Gupta dispute, “I doubt he is as smart as he thought. “.

Reported by Henry Sanderson, Robert Smith, Michael Pooler, Neil Hume and Sylvia Pfeifer

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