People Moves

WealthBriefing: Executive Moves in September

Contributing Editor 3 October 2005

WealthBriefing: Executive Moves in September

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

WealthBriefing covers all the major people moves in the global wealth management sector and also in this section is a round up of the major trends in hiring within the sector.

Last month saw one of the biggest acquisitions in private banking for some time with the Julius Baer/UBS deal involving three private banks and GAM. The deal means major managerial changes at Julius Baer and speculation of many jobs to go at the Zurich private bank – so far job losses have not been announced.

Many senior changes have taken place at HSBC Private Bank , with new heads being announced in Luxembourg, the UK and head of the trust business. Clive Bannister appears to be changing some of the old guard, but the bank is bullish and continues to hire.

Spanish private bankers look to be in demand after it was announced that Pictet has launched a private banking business in Madrid and is looking to hire additional staff. This follows Banca del Gottardo’s launch in the Spanish capital earlier this year and expansion of the wealth management operations of UBS and Credit Suisse in the country.

Executive Moves

Julius Baer said that around 10 per cent of its staff is likely to be made redundant from the newly expanded group, with the announcement earlier last month of the purchase of SBC Wealth Management, the holding company for Zurich-based Ehinger & Armand von Ernst, Geneva-based Ferrier Lullin & Cie and Lugano-based Banco di Lugano as well as London-based GAM. This could see the departure of up to 350 jobs from the combined work force of more than 3,500.

Witht the deal, Johannes de Gier, the head of SBC Wealth Management, becomes chief executive and president of Julius Baer, while Alex Widmer, the former head of Julius Baer, becomes head of private banking. < b>Rolf Aeberli continues as chief financial officer. But David Solo, also from SBC, will be the new head of asset management within the enlarged group. No position was announced for Roman von Ah, the current head of asset management. Mr von Ah was only appointed to the position a little over a year ago and also serves on the group executive board.

HSBC has been busy appointing new senior managers. Most prominent include the following.

Mark McCombe is to replace Marcus Gregson as head of HSBC Private Bank’s UK business. Mr Gregson, one of the best known private bankers in London, will be appointed vice chairman of the private bank and will work part time. Mr McCombe will take over the job after working closely with Mr Gregson for a period of time. Mr McCombe is a long-term employee of HSBC and was previously head of the bank’s operations in Turkey. He also had a senior role in HSBC’s private banking business in France.

Chris Meares has been appointed head of HSBC's global wealth solutions business, or global trust business. Mr Meares takes over from Jonathan Hubbard who is retiring from the bank, according to HSBC. Mr Meares will report to the bank’s chief executive Clive Bannister and retain his regional responsibility for HSBC Private Bank UK, Channel Islands and Luxembourg, according to HSBC.

Peter Yeates, currently a board member of HSBC’s private banking business in France, is to become the new head of the bank’s business in Luxembourg. He replaces David Levy, who is retiring.

Barclays looks to be gearing up for a major push in wealth management after management changes in late September. Bob Diamond, president of Barclays, and the man increasingly pulling the strings at the British bank, handed over one of his roles, that of wealth management, to Thomas Kalaris. Mr Kalaris joins from Barclays Capital, where he served on the executive committee. Insiders say the wealth management unit is currently looking to hire a number of senior managers, including someone to develop the brand, which some observers say is in much need of a revamp since the acquisition of the private client stockbroker, Gerrard. Mr Kalaris will head a group which includes the private and international banks, Barclays Stockbrokers, and Barclays Financial Planning.

Meanwhile, Paul Target has been appointed as the new director, business development, for Barclays Private Bank eastern UK division, which covers Norwich, Ipswich, Peterborough and Cambridge. The appointment is an internal promotion within Barclays. Mr Target’s appointment follows on from the appointment of Glynn Davies to be the private bank’s new business development director in the north west of the UK, based in Manchester. Mr Davies joins from Barclays Private Clients in London, where he worked on the Eastern Europe and Middle East desks.

Pictet & Cie has opened a private banking office in Madrid to target the country’s wealthy and appointed Fernando de Salinas Mila to head it up. The bank has had a presence in the local mutual fund business since 2000, but this is the first time Pictet is targeting Spanish onshore wealth management growth. Mr de Salinas Mila joined Pictet in 2002 from Ferrier Lullin & Cie in Geneva as regional marketing director for southern Europe. He has also had experience as an investment and private banker at Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan.

Credit Suisse has appointed Richard Algar as its new head of regional UK business for the onshore private bank. The position is a new one and Mr Algar was promoted from within Credit Suisse where he was a relationship manager specialising in northern England. In addition to his current responsibility for the existing north regional team, Mr Algar will be responsible for developing the bank's regional business in existing locations throughout the Thames Valley, Midlands and North East regions. He will also be looking for further opportunities to expand the bank's regional coverage.

Paolo Del Bue, a member of the executive board and major shareholder of Lugano-based Banca Arner, is stepping down, according to reports in the local media. Mr Del Bue is currently under investigation in Italy for money laundering in connection with transactions by a company controlled by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. It is not known whether this is linked to his departure at Banca Arner. The bank also lost the services earlier this year of its chairman, Lucio Velo, who also stepped down. He was replaced by Ivo Sciorilli Borelli. Mr Velo was a director of a company which was closed by Swiss regulators last year for operating as a bank without authorization.

London-based private client stockbroker JM Finn & Co has recruited two new investment managers from HSBC Investment Management, including a manager with one of the largest private client portfolios in the UK. Leading the hires is Hugo Bedford, who was a senior director on the high net worth desk and head of client relationship management at HIM. He managed around £400 million ($708.2 million) in private client portfolios. Ed Rogers also joins JM Finn; he was formerly an associate director on the high net worth desk at HSBC.

London-based private client asset management and advisory group, Brooks MacDonald, has appointed Simon Clark to its asset management team in London. Mr Clark joined from NCL Smith & Williamson, where he managed private client portfolios. Prior to this he worked at Gerrard.

Paul Harr is to join VP Bank (Luxembourg) as a new member of its board of management as from January 1 2006 when he will take over responsibility for the banking services business division. Mr Harr has spent 14 years in senior management positions at various Luxembourg-based banks, most recently as a member of the board of management at HSH Nordbank International, where he was responsible for the banking services business division.

One of the most secretive of all the Swiss private banks, Mourgue d'Algue & Cie, has appointed Pierre-Andre Mourgue d'Algue as a new partner, with unlimited liability. Pierre-Andre is a member of the Mourgue d’Algue family who control the bank.

Bear Stearns International has recruited Knut Dahl as a managing director in investment banking and will focus on the asset management sector with a particular emphasis on hedge funds, fund of funds and alternative asset managers throughout Europe. He joins from Putnam Lovell, where he had been focusing on European asset managers for the past three years.

Investec Private Bank has hired Andy Williamson to strengthen its London-based treasury team. Mr Williamson joins from HBOS treasury services where he managed a small institutional sales team focused on credit products and interest rate derivatives.

MLP, one of German’s largest stockbrokers and financial advisory businesses, has hired Ulrich Stephen as head of its new asset management division. Mr Stephen joins from Deutsche Bank, where he was previously chief investment officer for the bank’s European private and corporate clients, and private wealth management. The independent financial advisor said it hopes Mr Stephen will help build a strong asset management division that will become a second pillar of the company business, alongside its profitable private pension division.

Smith & Williamson, the London-based private client stockbroker, has hired a team of Gerrard private client brokers to head its new Glasgow office. They are: Rowan Braithwaite, Graeme Brock, Colin Lowson, Tom Mitchell and Stephen Quaile. All five of the recruits have left Gerrard since May in a wave of high-level departures. The new office will be headed up by David Reid, a veteran of the broking industry. The firm also said it plans to hire at least 30 staff for its Glasgow office over the next few years.

New Star Asset Management has promoted its highly-rated UK Growth fund manager Stephen Whittaker to joint chief investment officer. He will work alongside New Star's existing chief investment officer Alan Miller. Mr Whittaker joined in 2002 after being poached from Invesco Perpetual by New Star chairman, John Duffield.

Close Brothers has hired Patrick Harrington and Dominic Fisher to manage investment portfolios. Both will work at OLIM, a fund management company Close Brothers bought in 2000. Mr Fisher was most recently a partner in his own investment boutique; he had also been head of charities at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. Mr Harrington had worked at M&G and Henderson.

Scottish property group Halladale is setting up a fund management arm to bring the management of its investments in house and has hired Michael Walton, managing director of the European property investment business of Citigroup, to run the new investment group. The new group will target both high net worth individuals and institutional investors.

Albannach Financial Management, one of the biggest Scottish independent financial advisors, is to open an office in Glasgow and has hired associate directors John Byrne and Alan Reid, formerly of wealth management group St James's Place Partnership, to head the new operation.

Forsyth Partners, the fund of funds and research firm, has beefed up its UK team with two new appointments. Sophie Huang joins as a research analyst having previously worked as an independent consultant for the past two years. Prior to this she worked for seven years at UBS where she covered alternative investments. Vanessa Heywood joins Forsyth to head up its investment communications team. Ms Heywood was previously at Aberdeen where she headed up the investment trust retail marketing division.

The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority, has named Andrew Shrimpton as the head of a new six-strong unit specifically set up to supervise the 25 hedge funds that have a high impact on financial markets. Mr Shrimpton is currently head of asset management at the FSA. Mr Shrimpton will start work at the end of October when the consultation period for two discussion papers on hedge fund regulation is due to end. The FSA would not name the 25 funds nor speculate on the nature of the supervision.

Eugen Haltiner has been appointed as the new chairman of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission. Mr Haltinger was previously vice-chairman of business banking at UBS in Zurich. He replaces Kurt Hauri, who is leaving for unspecified reasons. Mr Haltiner will take up the position in February 2006. The commission’s other board members are Jean-Baptiste Zufferey, who is vice-chairman, Rene Kastli, Christoph Ammann, Luc Thevenoz, Anne Heritier Lachat and Charles Pictet.

Ogier, the Channel Islands law firm, has poached Gray Smith from Maples and Calder, to be managing partner of its London office. Mr Smith will be responsible for spearheading the London office’s expansion, particularly in the area of Ogier’s European Cayman capability. Mr Smith has worked in Maples and Calder’s Hong Kong, Cayman Islands and London offices since he joined in 1998. His most recent position was partner in charge of investment funds in London. His areas of expertise include investment funds, private equity, fund-related financial products, structured finance and corporate.

Ernst & Young have appointed a new partner to its Channel Islands practice. Michael Bane, a former director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, joins with over 20 years experience in financial services. He is an acknowledged expert in international financial reporting standards having written papers and lectured extensively across Europe. Mr Bane becomes the third audit partner in the Guernsey office and the 12th member of the Channel Islands leadership team. His key role will be to expand advisory and assurance services to the alternative investment sector particularly private equity, hedge funds and property funds.

Jonathan Taylor, head of public policy at UBS, is to become director general of the London Investment Banking Association. He replaces Adam Ridley, who is to step down after nearly six years in the job, but will continue to work for the organisation on a part-time basis. LIBA represents the interests of all the big investment banks and securities firms active in the City of London. It works with other national and international securities associations based in Europe.

London-based executive search firm Sheffield Haworth has appointed Zoe Priestman to lead its private wealth management practice. She will be joined by Emma Cowan as an associate, who will be responsible for the research execution of assignments within the wealth & asset management division. Sheffield Haworth has offices in London, New York and Hong Kong, and recently appointed Cathy Tompkins to head its wealth management practice in New York.

International headhunter Gow and Partners has replaced Mark Somers as head of asset management. His position has been filled by Robin Douglas who was his boss when they both worked at international executive search firm, Norman Broadbent. Mr Douglas has been at Gow for around six months, but has spent 18 years in executive search.

North America
Societe Generale has appointed Marc Stern as chairman of its global investment management and services for North America. Mr Stern will lead the North American strategy for GIMS, which combines SG Asset Management, SG Private Banking and SG Global Securities Services for Investors, Societe Generale's custody, brokerage and transfer agent business. Mr Stern joins from the TCW group, a Los Angles-based asset manager, in which Societe Generale bought a majority stake in 2001.

John Taft, chief executive of Royal Bank of Canada's Voyager Asset Management group and head of the bank’s Dain private wealth management unit, has been appointed chief executive of RBC Dain Rauscher, the Minneapolis-based private client brokerage firm. The 143-branch brokerage’s present chief executive, Brian Peters, is leaving the firm to return to Canada after running it since May 2003.

First Citizens Bank has appointed Carol Yochem as head of its wealth management business. Ms Yochem will lead a team of nearly 300 wealth management professionals and will have overall responsibility for personal trust, estate settlement, corporate trust, retirement plan services, brokerage, asset management, life insurance and private banking. She joins from SunTrust Bank in Nashville where she was executive vice president of wealth management.

As part of the initiative announced in June by Smith Barney and Legg Mason to combine their private client businesses, David Penn will join Smith Barney's global private client group as director of investment products. The position will be effective from November 1 and Mr Penn will be responsible for the oversight of all Smith Barney investment products. He joins Smith Barney following 21 years with Legg Mason and he will continue to serve in his current role as director of investor services, responsible for many of the product areas including investment management services, wealth management, Legg Mason portfolio management, non-proprietary mutual funds, insurance and alternative investments until he takes up his new role in November.

US wealth manager, Glenmede Trust Company has appointed James Samuel Pew, an environmental lawyer, to its board of directors. Since 1997, Mr Pew has been an attorney in the Washington, DC office of Earthjustice, an Oakland, California-based non-profit law firm where he represents public interest clients in litigation under federal environmental laws. Previously, he worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council of the US.

Richard Breeden, former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and a major advocate for corporate governance, is starting an activist hedge fund. Breeden Partners will seek to profit from companies that improve their corporate governance and is expected to start trading early next year.

Two rising stars of private-equity company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are leaving to start their own investment fund. Scott Stuart and Edward Gilhuly, both 45 years old, were widely believed to be the best and brightest of the next generation at KKR which is run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts. Both Mr Stuart and Mr Gilhuly sat on KKR’s recently-formed six-member investment committee. The two plan to launch a long-term equity-investment fund with no more than $1 billion, with their own money and capital from KKR.

Citigroup has appointed Akbar Shah as head of its global wealth management business for the Middle East region. The position is a new one. Mr Shah has been with Citigroup for 20 years and was most recently head of Citigroup Private Bank in the Philippines. He will be based in London and will report to Deepak Sharma, who was appointed chief executive for Citigroup’s wealth management unit in Asia Pacific and the Middle East in February.

Julius Baer has appointed Dominique Leimer as its new chief executive for the Middle East. Mr Leimer replaces Brij Singh, who, according to the Zurich-based bank “will leave the group due to different strategic views.” Mr Leimer was previously with Credit Suisse in Dubai, although he had left the bank earlier in the year. Julius Baer was the first foreign private bank to obtain a license in Dubai, which it did in September 2004. The bank said in a statement on Mr Leimer’s appointment that it “is fully committed to developing its local operation with a special view on the market potential accumulated in the Middle East.”

UBS has appointed communications officer Mark Branson as chief executive of its Japanese securities unit. Mr Branson, who is a member of the UBS Group Managing Board, will succeed Simon Bunce, recently appointed global head of fixed income for UBS's investment bank. Mr Branson will report to UBS Investment Bank chief executive Huw Jenkins and Asia-Pacific head Rory Tapner. Tom Hill head of global equity research at UBS investment bank, will succeed Mr Branson and will be based in Zurich.

Register for WealthBriefingAsia today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes