Royal Bank of Scotland has expanded its global transaction services team with five new hires in London, showing it can still attract experienced bankers – particularly to a business that is core to its restructured banking operations.
The UK bank has appointed Helen Mason as head of bank partnerships, overseeing the management of RBS’s partner banking arrangements in the GTS business. She joins from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), where she most recently ran the bank’s commercial cards business within GTS for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Mason reports directly to Carole Berndt, who joined RBS from BAML as global head of GTS last summer.
In addition, Nick Blake has been appointed as head of sales for GTS and James Waud has been appointed head of subsidiary clients and sales performance. Both join from JPMorgan where Blake was most recently responsible for multinational corporate sales and treasury services across EMEA, and Waud was an executive director and team leader for Northern Europe.
RBS has also appointed Stuart Lawson and Maha el Dimachki as managing directors in the cash product team. Lawson joins from Standard Chartered, where he was head of corporate sales for transaction banking Europe, and El Dimachki joins from BAML, where she was head of corporate sales for GTS across EMEA.
Carole Berndt, global head of GTS, RBS
Berndt says there are no plans to expand the product range, but rather to focus on providing a better quality of service.
“What we are doing is focusing our efforts and continuing to bring a high calibre of expertise to the client,” she says. “This will enable us to do more for clients, but not in the context of just more products or places – it is more about delivering relevant solutions, continually enhancing the client experience.”
Berndt says there will be a simplified process with a move to ensure RBS is offering solutions to the clients, not just products. She points to the hires being made across both sales and management to create a balanced team.
“Our team will continue to evolve, and in keeping with the industry we will continue to reinvent ourselves as client needs change,” she adds.
Berndt sees GTS as coming to a peak in the current banking cycle, and interest is still on the rise.
“It’s interesting how cyclical it has become,” she says. “In the banks with very large investment banks, there was a lot of attention paid to GTS from around 2009 to 2013. What we’ve seen in the last six to nine months is the activity really ramping up.
“In that environment, the natural bullish tendency to go for the episodic transaction will start to avail in some of the multi-product banks. We’ve taken a rationalized focus – we’re a corporate and institutional bank with trade and cash management at the centre of what we deliver to our clients.”