Corbett Keeling is run by two of the eight Keeling brothers, having originally been set up in 1993 by Jim Keeling to raise equity finance predominantly for private companies. Shortly after setting up Jim Keeling was joined by his ex KPMG colleague Barry Corbett who remained with the business until 1995 when, having long desired to run his own company, he led a management buyout. At this time Simon Keeling left behind a career in mainstream corporate finance BZW, Hambros and Henry Ansbacher to join his younger brother at Corbett Keeling.
The other member of the Keeling family involved in the business is father Michael Keeling who is the firm’s chairman. Jim and Simon Keeling jointly own Corbett Keeling. Michael Keeling started his investment career in the 1950s with London & Yorkshire Trust Ltd, which was founded by his father Sir John “Jack” Keeling in the 1920s. Michael Keeling was to eventually wind up as chairman of independent investment bank Close Brothers. This came about during the late 1970s when Close Brothers was still a subsidiary of Consolidated Gold Fields and its management wanted to do a management buyout. At this point still with London & Yorkshire Trust Ltd Michael Keeling became involved in the buyout and the firm provided both support for the transaction and, alongside Safeguard Industrial Investments, a quoted investment trust that was run by the Keeling family, the funds. Foreign & Colonial also stumped up some financial support via a private placing in 1982 and two years later Close Brothers (worth some GBP3.7 million) reversed into Safeguard Industrial Investments (worth some GBP21 million.)