People Moves

WealthBriefing: Executive Moves in November

Contributing Editor 1 December 2005


WealthBriefingcovers all the major people moves in the global wealth management sector. Executive Moves Europe Julius Baer has crea...

WealthBriefingcovers all the major people moves in the global wealth management sector.

Executive Moves


Julius Baer has created a new markets unit and appointed Peter Gerlach, the former head of private banking for Switzerland at the bank, to head it. The former head of the trading unit, Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter, is to leave the bank. Mr Gerlach has been with Julius Baer for more than 20 years.

HVB has appointed Johann Berger as its new head of its private banking and private client division. The announcement comes after the resignation of Christine Licci last week, the previous head of the division. Mr Berger was previously head of the retail and the real estate division of HVB. Ms Licci left last week in what would appear to be a disagreement over strategy since the Munich-based bank was taken over by Unicredito.

Richard Spilg, group chief executive officer of UK-based wealth manager Ansbacher, has left the company. His role has been taken over by Hugh Titcomb who was managing director of Ansbacher & Co. Mr Spilg is leaving Ansbacher in order to pursue other interests.

Merck Finck & Co has appointed a new personally responsible partner, George Baron von Boeselager. Mr Boeselager has been in a senior management role at Merck Finck since September 2004. He joins the two existing partners: Alexander Mettenheimer and Michael Krume, and will be responsible for many of the bank’s back office, IT, credit and risk management functions, according to a statement from the bank.

Nicolas Walewski, the manager of Syz & Co’s Oyster European Opportunities fund, has left to help set up Vauban Asset Management in London. Mr Walewski played a major role in attracting nearly SFr2 billion ($1.5 billion) assets to Syz’s Oyster fund, one of the largest funds managed by the Geneva-based asset management firm. Vauban Asset Management was launched earlier this year and currently employs three managers. Vauban will concentrate on European investments.

Geneva-based fund management group Syz & Co has appointed Eric Bendahan to run its Oyster European Opportunities Fund and to replace Nicolas Walewski (see above) Mr Bendahan was voted “best manager in Europe” by Citywire in 2005. He joins from Axa Investment Managers, where he managed a number of European funds with around €2.5 billion ($2.9 billion) under management. He will join Syz at the end of the year.

Geneva-based Union Bancaire Privee has hired Francois Duc to work as a senior manager within its alternative asset division. Mr Duc joins from Syz & Co, where he was director of quantitative analysis for the firm’s alternative asset group, Syz 3A. Mr Duc was an important member of the successful Syz 3A group and the departure will come as a blow to the Geneva-based asset manager, say analysts. His replacement has yet to be named.

Merrill Lynch has appointed Jose Maria Ortega as its new head for private banking in Spain and Portugal. Mr Ortega joins from Credit Suisse where he was head of the Swiss bank’s Spanish asset management division.

Valiant Private Bank has appointed Marco Durrer as its new chief executive. He replaces Adrian Lerf, who has been appointed chief operating officer of Valiant Holdings, the holding company of the various Valiant financial companies, which includes the private bank. Mr Durrer joins from Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, where he held various senior positions since joining in 1992, including deputy head of the bank’s asset management business.

Citigroup has appointed Mario Spreafico as director of investments for its wealth management and private banking clients in Italy. The position is a new one. Mr Spreafico was previously director of investments for Banknord Sim, a position he held since joining them in 2002. Mr Spreafico will be responsible for managing portfolios and strategic investment allocation for all of Citigroup’s high net worth clients. He will work closely with the management from Citibank retail bank and Citigroup Private Bank in Italy.

Deutsche Bank’s Private Wealth Management unit has appointed Colin Woolcock as head of Latin America based in Geneva. Mr Woolcock joins from Socinvest Financial, also based in Geneva. He has also worked at Citigroup.

SG Hambros has hired Jonathan Norbury, the former head of onshore private banking in the UK at Credit Suisse. Mr Norbury joins SG Hambros as a senior private banker. Most recently, Mr Norbury had been head of UK wealth management for Anglo-Irish Bank, which he joined after his time at Credit Suisse. At Credit Suisse, Mr Norbury was responsible for the bank's push into the UK's onshore wealth market, and targeting growth in regional centres such as Newcastle and Leeds.

Cazenove Capital Management, the UK asset manager, has appointed Chris Gillam as key account manager in its investment management division. Mr Gillam will be responsible for building third party relationships with independent financial advisors and private banks. The position is a new one. He joins from Morley Fund Management where he was sales development manager.

London-based private client investment manager, PSigma Investment Management, has appointed two new members to its investment team. Seton Craven joins as an investment director from HSBC Investments, where he has been for the last five years. He was previously with Sheppards and Chase, Hoare Govett and Robert Fleming. Lisa Davies also joins PIM from HSBC as an investment manager. PIM’s investment team has doubled in size over the past 12 months and the new appointments bring the total number of investment managers to 13. Four fund managers have joined during the past few months, three of whom worked at HSBC Investments.

Mirabaud Gestion, the Paris-based private banking subsidiary of Swiss bank Mirabaud, has hired three private bankers. Raphael Spahr, Cecile Troger, and Geoffroy Chatillon all joined Mirabaud last month. They joined from HSBC Private Bank, Credit Suisse and Rothschild respectively.

David Muncaster, a senior private banker at Anglo-Irish Bank in London, has left to join UBS. Mr Muncaster’s departure follows the earlier announcement that Jonathan Norbury left the bank to join SG Hambros.

Rene Charriere, member of the executive board of the Swisscanto Group has resigned, according to a statement from the group. His position will be managed by >Gerard Fischer, chief executive of Swisscanto, until a replacement can be found. Mr Charriere was the head of investments and pensions private clients at Swisscanto. He was responsible for the development and marketing of Swisscanto investment funds and pension products. Swisscanto was not able to say where Mr Charriere was going after his resignation.

Threadneedle Investments has appointed Lothar Mentel as head of product development. The position is a new one. Mr Mentel joins from Barclays Wealth Management, where he was head of investment product development. He has also worked at Commerzbank Asset Management in Frankfurt. He will initially be working with the current head of product development, Mary Blair, who plans to retire from Threadneedle next June. He will report to Lorin Gresser, head of product strategy, who is responsible both for the strategic direction of product development and for Threadneedle’s alternative products division.

London-based investment management firm NCL Smith & Williamson has lost seven private client fund managers to Brewin Dolphin. The seven control up to £500 million ($883.5 million) of private client money. The seven are William Bonner-Davies and Richard Bourne, who have apparently already joined Brewin Dolphin, and Paul Oelmann, Charles Brittain, James Ingram, Stephen Thornton and Alan Holton. The departures from Smith & Williamson follow the loss of two private client asset mangers, Claire Gordon and Simon Clark, to London-based BrooksMacdonald in the last few months.

UK-based Brewin Dolphin Securities has appointed Gordon Houston as an investment manager in its Birmingham office. Mr Houston joins from Williams de Broe, where he was an account manager in the investment management division. Brewin said in a statement that Mr Houston will assist Stephen Williams, who also joined Brewin Dolphin earlier this year from Williams de Broe, in the development of the firm’s enterprise investment scheme and inheritance tax relief portfolio management services.

Christows, the UK private client stockbroking business of Evolution Securities, has hired a six-strong team from Brewin Dolphin for its new office in Birmingham.
Mark Northover
has joined Christows as an investment director and together with investment manager Simon Long will be managing Christows’ two new portfolio services - inheritance tax relief and enterprise investment scheme. Martin Lord has joined Christows as an investment director. He is responsible for the management of a wide range of discretionary private client portfolios. He will be working closely with fellow director, Ian Moseley and Nicholas Jones, associate director. Adrian Quin joins Christows as a director in charge of business development and will be working with professional intermediaries to develop and promote investment management services and tax efficient strategies for their clients.

SVM, the Edinburgh-based asset manager, has lost fund manager Andrew Dykes. Mr Dykes departure is the fourth fund manager out of an investment team of nine to leave the firm in the last three months. Mr Dykes had only just taken over management of the SVM Continental Europe fund from Paul Casson when Mr Casson announced his plan to join Henderson Global Investors, according to reports in the Scottish press. In September, two SVM fund managers – David Stevenson and Andrew Kelly – quit to form a joint- venture funds boutique with Glasgow-based Britannic Asset Management.

Ansbacher has appointed Mark Bright as its head of banking and investments in the Channel Islands where he will be responsible for developing a range of products and clients services from the firm’s offices in Guernsey and Jersey. Mr Bright was previously managing director of MeesPierson (Channel Islands) and is also the current chairman of Guernsey’s International Bankers Association. He previously worked for Credit Suisse as head of credit and later was appointed as an executive board member.

Law firm Baker & McKenzie has hired Ashley Crossley as a partner and Salpy Kouyoumjianand as an associate to its private banking practice in London. Both will work alongside Paul Stibbard, the head of the practice. Mr Crossley specialises in advising wealthy individuals and families on tax, trusts and jurisdictional risk.

The accountancy and financial advisor firm, Grant Thornton, have appointed Rob Withecombe to succeed Ian Johnson as head of the firm's private client services practice from 1 January 2006. Mr Johnson is to focus on client work, according to a statement from Grant Thornton. Mr Withecombe has a background in advising entrepreneurs and private clients, and since 2002 has led the firm's corporate and international tax team in London, turning it into one of the fastest growing and most profitable teams at Grant Thornton. Mr Withecombe will continue with his private client-facing role.

The Americas

Northern Trust has appointed Sherry Barrat as president of its Personal Financial Services unit. She will report to William Osborn, chief executive and chairman of Northern Trust. The appointment will be effective from January 1, 2006. Ms Barrat will co-lead the personal financial business of Northern Trust with William Morrison. She will also join Mr Morrison on Northern Trust's management committee.

Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, the former head of Citigroup Private Banking business in Latin America and Europe, has been appointed president of US Trust. Ms Sevilla-Sacasa joins her previous boss at Citigroup, Peter Scaturro, who joined US Trust as its chief executive after resigning from Citigroup following the bank's problems in Japan in late 2004. Under Mr Scaturro's reign at Citigroup, Ms Sevilla-Sacasa was given responsibility of running both the Latin American and European parts of the private bank, which led to a punishing travel schedule. After Mr Scaturro's departure, her responsibilities for Europe were dropped, which many insiders saw as a lessening of her influence under the new head of wealth management at Citigroup, Todd Thomson.

Maria Elena Lagomasino, the former chief executive of JP Morgan Private Bank, has joined Asset Management Advisors, a Florida-based multi-family office as chief executive. Ms Lagomasino will oversee an expansion plan that includes acquisitions, new offices and added staff, according to reports in the US press. AMA, based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is owned by SunTrust Bank. Michael Holden and Michael Zeuner have left JP Morgan Private Bank in New York to join Ms Lagomasino.

Deutsche Bank’s US private wealth management unit has hired Kyle Delaney to run its private banking office in San Francisco. Mr Delaney will run a group of private bankers focusing on ultra high-net-worth clients. He joins from Bank of America where he was head of the Northern California private banking operations. Mr Delaney reports to Michael Davis, who was hired by Deutsche Bank last month from Citigroup as West Coast region head. The bank also recently hired two private bankers in Los Angeles, Clinton Hodges and Kyle Dunphy. Deutsche is building up a strong wealth management team on both coasts of the US, under the leadership of Mr Peters, the former head of Citigroup’s ultra-high net worth unit.

Deutsche Bank Securities has hired two top performing private client stockbrokers from Credit Suisse First Boston. Eric Osserman and Michael Brabant manage around $400 million in client assets, said the reports. Patrick Campion and Thomas Bowers also joined Deutsche Bank's private wealth management unit from Citigroup. Mr Campion is sales manager in the New York office, and Mr Bowers is chief operating officer.

Citigroup’s Smith Barney unit has appointed Stacy Brandom as chief financial officer of its global private client group. Ms Brandom joins from JP Morgan, where she was most recently CFO and senior vice president of the bank’s corporate sector. Ms Brandom will report to Mark Joiner, CFO of Citigroup Wealth Management, and Charlie Johnston, chief executive of the global private client group.

JP Morgan has hired Gary Sorrentino from Citigroup as its chief technology officer for its private bank and private clients services units. Mr Sorrentino will head a team of six key individuals. He replaces Joan Schlesinger, who is retiring after 20 years. Mr Sorrentino was most recently head of technology infrastructure for the global wealth management division at Citigroup.

Richard Thornburgh, the former head of Credit Suisse Asset Management and private client services, is to join Corsair Capital, a private equity firm recently spun off from JPMorgan. Corsair, which specializes in financial services investments, has been involved in investing about $1 billion in banks, insurers, asset managers, specialty lenders, and other companies globally.

Bank of America global wealth & investment management unit has appointed Thong Nguyen as head of its private advisory services group, which deals with BofA’s ultra-high net worth clients in the US. Mr Nguyen, who will be based in Boston and will report to John Bahnken, president, global wealth & investment management products group, most recently led marketing for the overall division, which includes the company's asset management, brokerage, private bank and premier bank businesses.

Citigroup Wealth Management has appointed Alexander van Tienhoven as head of the private bank in Latin America. He replaces Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, who recently left the bank to join US Trust. Marc Dilorenzo has also been appointed acting chief operating officer of Citigroup Private Bank after the departure of Miriam Esteve, also to US Trust. Mr van Tienhoven was previously head of Citigroup Private Bank in Mexico and Northern Latin America. He will be based in Mexico City and report to Damian Kozlowski, global chief executive of the private bank. Mr Dilorenzo was global head of strategy at Citigroup Private Bank.

RBC Dain Rauscher, part of the Royal Bank of Canada, has hired a team of private client brokers in California from Citigroup’s Smith Barney. The team is Kenneth Sullivan, Jon Jacobson and Nathan Mueller. The brokers each had more than $100 million of client assets under management when they left, said the report. RBC has more than 1,800 financial consultants and 300,000 retail customer accounts in about 40 states, while Smith Barney has more than 12,000 brokers, according to the report.


Royal Bank of Canada has appointed Wyn James to head a private banking initiative to grow the bank’s business in Asia. The new position represents a joint venture between the bank’s private banking operations and its capital markets business. Mr James will be responsible for developing the bank’s business in the region by having much greater access to capital markets’ products such as structured products, hedge funds and derivatives. Mr James was previously based in London for RBC. He joined the Canadian bank in 2003 as director of private client services in London. Prior to joining RBC, Mr James spent seven years in Asia, based first in Hong Kong and then Singapore as a private banker with Coutts.

Middle East

DB Absolute Return Strategies, the global fiduciary hedge fund management business of Deutsche Bank, has hired Mohammed Abdulmalik as head of sales for the Middle East. He was previously at UBS Global Asset Management where he led the group's business development initiatives for alternative investments in the Middle East.

Mr Abdulmalik joins as a managing director and will be based in the United Arab Emirates. He will report to Tim Sweeting, head of sales for Europe and the Middle East for DB Absolute Return Strategies, and will be responsible for distributing fund of hedge funds and single-manager hedge funds to institutions and high-net-worth investors within the region.

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