People Moves

WealthBriefing: Executive Moves

Contributing Editor 1 March 2005

WealthBriefing: Executive Moves

WealthBriefing covers all the major people moves in the global wealth management sector. Also in this section is a round up of the major tre...

WealthBriefing covers all the major people moves in the global wealth management sector. Also in this section is a round up of the major trends in the hiring and firing—which firms are hiring and which ones are firing.

It is definetinely a good time to be a wealth manager. A straw poll conducted by WealthBriefing of private banks and executive search firms in the sector suggests most are hiring—and aggressively. Inevitably, consolidation is leading to some layoffs, but these are minor, which underlines the sector’s overall dynamism in the financial services sector. We take a look at the major moves in the sector.

Wealth Manager Trends

Citigroup is still looking for a head of its private banking operations—the search is going far and wide, according to insiders.

HSBC Private Bank is to open three new regional offices in the UK, as the bank targets wealth outside London. The new offices will be in Leeds, Birmingham, and Cardiff. So private bankers are actively being sought for positions in these cities. The bank also plans expansion in Scotland next year.

JP Morgan is also rumoured to be looking to grow its business outside London, although the bank would not confirm any moves.

Barclays Private Clients said there will be no wholesale job cuts in response to an article in a London-based Sunday business newspaper citing sources close to the bank that job cuts were likely. A Barclays’ spokeswoman told WealthBriefing that information in the newspaper’s article “is speculation, which we never comment on.” Last week Barclays Private Clients made two senior equity analysts redundant: Jim Wood-Smith, head of equity strategy and Mark Inzani, head of equity research. The spokeswoman said the changes were designed to: “bring a flatter structure to the research department which will enable a seamless investment process and provide the best for our clients.”

Good news if you are a private banker at HypoVereinsbank , Germany’s second largest bank in terms of market capitalization. The bank said it will not be cutting private banking jobs as part of its plans to restructure and lay off more than 2000 employees. A spokesman for the bank told WealthBriefing that none of the cuts would affect the private banking part of the business. “These are all in different divisions. We consider private banking one of the major growth areas for the bank and are adding resources,” said the spokesman.

…Meanwhile speculation in the German press suggests Landesbank WestLB is looking to buy a private bank in an effort to re-establish its brand in German wealth management. May be some hiring here?

US private client stockbroker Raymond James is actively recruiting, particularly in Canada. “Our goal is to continue to grow aggressively, and over the next three years we plan to create a team in excess of 400 investment advisors, managing more than $18 billion in client assets under administration,” said Peter Bailey, president of Raymond James, in a statement.

And Howard Milstein, a prominent American property developer and banker, is to set up a new private bank called New York Private Bank & Trust . The bank plans to target the ultra-high net worth with accounts worth more than $50 million in investable assets. Probably some positions going here.

BNP Paribas has targeted 30 per cent growth in its Indian private banking business over the next few years and has put the country at the top of its Asian expansion drive. BNP has about 2,000 private banking clients in India and provides investment advice for more than $400 million of their assets. It is planning to increase the staffing of its Indian private banking operations by about 60 per cent to 36 people in the next 15-18 months.

Executive Moves


Paolo Moscovici has been appointed head of JP Morgan Private Banking in France. He replaces Hervé de Montlivault , who is leaving to take up another position, according to a statement from the bank. Mr Moscovici was until recently head of the UK business for the private bank until he was replaced by Olivier de Givenchy in September.

HSBC Private Bank has appointed Pierre Pissaloux as the new head of its Middle East desk, based in Geneva. Mr Pissaloux joins from Union Bancaire Privée, where he was head of private banking. He replaces Edmond Carton, who will be working for HSBC in California, according to a source close to the bank.

Richard Killingbeck , chief executive of Singer & Friedlander Investment Management, has left, according to sources at SFIM. No reason has been given for his departure. He has yet to be replaced. Mr Killingbeck was one of the architects of the acquisition early last year of Atlantic Wealth Management. He had been a long term employee of Singer, according to sources close to the investment manager.

Credit Suisse Private Bank in London has apparently hired Anthony Cooke-Yarborough , the ex-Barclays Private Clients head of UK private banking, according to unconfirmed reports. Mr Cooke-Yarborough is likely to take the job left vacant when Mark Hassett left as head of private banking to join SG Hambros, or at least something approaching his job.

Brewin Dolphin Securities, the London-based private client stock broker, has hired De-Courcy Ireland, David Roblin, Bill Stevens, and David Stevens, to its private client team in London. All four formerly managed private client portfolios for a number of years until mid-2004 at NCL Smith & Williamson.

Forsters, a London-based law firm with a large private client team, has hired Carole Cook and Eliza Mellor to its private client team. Ms Cook will be a consultant and Ms Mellor will be a consultant at Forsters. Both join from Nicholson Graham & Jones. Their arrival increases Forsters' private client strength to seven partners and two consultants.

Laurel Powers-Freeling , the former head of Lloyds TSB Group’s wealth management division and more recently senior manager at Marks and Spencer, has joined American Express to head the UK consumer and small business card operation. Ms Powers-Freeling briefly was chief executive of Lloyds TSB’s ill-fated “Create” wealth management initiative, which she subsequently left just a few days after it launched to join M&S as chief executive of their financial initiative M&S Money.

Guernsey’s desire to foster stronger links between the financial services sector and government has led to the creation of a new post of director of finance sector development. Peter Niven has been appointed to the new position and he joins from Lloyds TSB, where he was head of the bank’s offshore financial services group in Guernsey. Mr Niven’s new position is designed to act as a conduit between the finance sector and the States (the Guernsey government) and will report directly to the chief officer of the department. The new position is not a civil service post; rather a contract which will run from 1st March.

ABN Amro’s head of private banking in Belgium Eric Thoelen has left to join Puilaetco, the Belgian private bank and asset manager. Mr Thoelen will be Puilaetco’s commercial director, responsible for developing the firm’s business in the Flemish speaking northern part of Belgium and to seek out possible joint ventures with other firms. Puilaetco traces its history back to 1868. It was bought by Kredietbank Luxembourg in early 2004 and is now part of the KBL’s network of European private bankers.

Rob Ten Heggeler has been appointed as the new head of MeesPierson, the private banking arm of Belgo-Dutch financial services group Fortis. Mr Ten Heggeler replaces Peter Vandekerckhove , who has moved over to head of the retail banking business of Fortis in Belgium. Mr Ten Heggeler was an executive board member of the Fortis group in the Netherlands and headed up the commercial banking operations in the country. The moves in management come after incoming chief executive Jean-Paul Votron announced his new strategy which will see private banking merge with commercial banking and for MeesPierson to be re-branded as Fortis.

North America

Paul Roye , director of the Securities & Exchange Commission’ s Division of Investment Management, has announced his intension to leave the Commission in the coming weeks. Mr Roye plans to pursue opportunities in the private sector. An SEC spokesman told WealthBriefing that, typically for a person in such a position, Mr Roye would not make a decision on his future role until he has actually left the organisation. Mr Roye has served as head of the Division of Investment Management at a critical time in the history of the investment management industry. According to Chairman of the SEC, William Donaldson, “he will leave a strong and lasting legacy.”

Bear, Stearns private client services has hired William Welsh as senior managing director of its San Francisco branch office. Mr Welsh joins from Lehman Brothers, where he has been running the firm's San Francisco private client business. He will work with Bear, Stearns San Francisco branch manager, Cliff Mallery .

Raymond James, the US brokerage firm, has hired Kevin Whelly as senior vice president, growth and development in Canada. The position is a newly created one. A statement from the firm said: “Mr Whelly will support the firm’s aggressive recruitment goals for its private client business.” Raymond James has been actively recruiting investment advisors in Canada during the last year, having hired 50 new positions to its private clients’ team of 265 advisors. The firm said it has grown its assets under administration by 25 per cent to $8 billion in 2004.

Citigroup has continued with its senior management reshuffle with the appointment of Stephen Hopkins and Michael Even as joint heads of Citigroup Asset Management. Mr Hopkins will continue as chief operating officer of Citigroup Asset Management. Prior to the new post he was also head of private bank asset management and lead global product management for the Citigroup Private Bank. Mr Even will be global chief investment officer for Citigroup Asset Management and interim chief investment officer for Citigroup Wealth Management, which includes the Citigroup Private Bank and Smith Barney. Citigroup Wealth Management’s head is Todd Thomson .

Walter Deriso has resigned from his position as head of Synovus Financial Corp’s financial management services group. The group provides trust, investment, private banking and insurance products in the five US states where Synovus does business - Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. A statement from Columbus Georgia-based Synovus said Mr Deriso was leaving to pursue other interests. G. Sanders Griffith III , the company's general counsel, was named to lead the financial management services group on an interim basis while Synovus looks for a permanent successor.

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