Cash management: The search for top talent
There have been plenty of senior personnel changes in the transaction banking business in recent years, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch perhaps the most active hirer and Citi perhaps the most frequently targeted bank (Paul Simpson, BAML’s head of global transaction services; Carole Berndt, head of EMEA global treasury services in London; and Ivo Distelbrink, head of Asia Pacific global treasury services in Hong Kong, are all ex-Citi).
"You are looking for someone who understand systems, regulators and industry players and can appreciate the strategic direction of the business"
The benefits gained by such high-profile appointments are somewhat different to other areas of banking, according to John Coverdale, former head of global transaction banking at HSBC. "It’s not the case that a new hire brings business with them automatically – often mandates are locked in for three years – but they can have an impact over time," he says. "In hiring a senior professional you are looking for someone who understand systems, regulators and industry players and can appreciate the strategic direction of the business."
According to many observers, what has been most evident in recent years – as transaction banking has become a higher priority for banking groups – is the relatively small pool of talent in the industry. "Transaction banking generally has been suffering from a lack of refreshment of talent," confirms Karen Fawcett, group head of transaction banking at Standard Chartered.