Finance

Trading Places: Ex-Woodford sales head joins ETF firm, former KPMG chief exec quits and Credit Suisse risk head stands down

Simon Dale, the former head of retail at Woodford Investment Management, has joined exchange traded fund boutique HANetf to oversee its European sales efforts.

Dale was one of the original team members of Neil Woodford’s eponymous investment empire, which the ex-star fund manager launched in 2014 after more than two decades at Invesco Perpetual.

Dale previously worked alongside Woodford as UK sales manager at Invesco, where he worked for more than a decade before moving to Matthews Asia for a brief stint as head of European business development.

READ Former Woodford sales exec Simon Dale joins ETF firm

The first woman to lead KPMG in Britain, Mary O’Connor, quit the Big Four firm this week after she was passed over for the role of permanent chief executive.

The firm confirmed O’Connor’s exit in a 28 April statement. She led the firm on an interim basis from February until earlier this month after former chair and chief executive Bill Michael resigned over widely criticised comments in a video meeting with staff.

When she was appointed as interim chief executive O’Connor became the first woman to run a Big Four firm in the UK.

However, she was not given the chance to compete in an open partnership election for the role of permanent chief executive after the firm’s board opted instead for audit head Jon Holt as its preferred candidate.

READ Credit Suisse risk committee head Gottschling steps down amid Greensill, Archegos crises

The head of Credit Suisse’s risk committee has stepped down ahead of its annual meeting, avoiding a potential shareholder confrontation at the crisis-stricken Swiss bank.

Andreas Gottschling, who has led the Swiss bank’s risk committee through the twin crises of Archegos Capital and Greensill, has become the latest executive to fall on his sword.

Credit Suisse’s board had considered the removal of Gottschling ahead of its AGM on 30 April, with large shareholders signalling to the Financial Times that they would vote against his re-election. Norges Bank Investment Management, which holds a 3% stake in Credit Suisse, also told the Wall Street Journal it would vote against Gottschling’s appointment.

In a statement, Credit Suisse said that Gottschling “will not stand for re-election” and therefore the AGM item proposing his appointment becomes obsolete.

The chief executive of HSBC Bank and HSBC Europe is to join the board of London fintech startup Quantexa next month.

Colin Bell will join the data analytics startup’s board of directors, replacing HSBC’s global risk chief operating officer Ray O’Brien.

READ HSBC Europe chief Colin Bell joins board of London fintech startup

HSBC was an early investor in Quantexa, participating in its series A in 2017 and in subsequent funding rounds. Other backers include British Patient Capital, Dawn Capital and the venture capital arms of ABN Amro and Accenture.

Bell was HSBC’s group chief compliance officer until February this year. He previously worked at Swiss bank UBS, where he was head of compliance and operational risk control, and spent 16 years in the British Army.

Separately, HSBC is ramping up its hiring of junior bankers and boosting pay to help reduce workload and burnout among younger dealmakers.

“Our objective is clear: we want to attract, develop and retain individuals who value our diverse, inclusive and high-performing culture,” the memo from HSBC’s senior bankers. “We will do this with an overall employee value proposition aligned to competitive dynamics and to our strategy,” a memo seen by Financial News said.

READ JPMorgan just promoted 52 to MD in Europe — Here are the names

JPMorgan has promoted 52 people to managing director within its corporate and investment bank in Europe, the Middle East and Africa following a record quarter for the unit.

Around 20% of the new MDs are women, roughly the same as 2020.

Among those making the grade is Thomas Christl, a senior consumer and retail investment banker, and Mariano Colmenar Gotor, who runs its equity capital markets business in Spain. Augustin d’Angerville, who heads M&A in France, is another dealmaker promotion, as is Gokhan Ozkan, who focuses on financial institutions in the central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Law firm Ashurst has promoted five lawyers to partner in London out of a 14-strong global promotions cohort. Female partners accounted for 78% of the promoted group, up from 67% of the new promotions in 2020.

READ Meet the 20 Most Influential in Legal Services 2021

Last year the firm promoted 15 new partners, in a promotions round that was delayed six months because of the pandemic. This year’s group of new partners was the smallest since 2016 when the firm promoted 12 new partners.

The new London partners include investment funds lawyers Catherine Gokah, corporate lawyer Jeffrey Johnson and financial regulatory lawyer Lorraine Johnston.

Clifford Chance also unveiled its partner promotions this week, with 29 lawyers making the cut, including 11 from its Canary Wharf base.

Nearly half of the new partners (14) have a strong focus on work for financial investors clients, the firm said in its 28 April statement.

Eleven of the new partners are women (38%) and three of the 15 new UK and US partners disclosed their ethnicity as non-white.

New London partners include disputes lawyer Christopher Ingham, corporate lawyer Charlotte Madden and financial markets lawyers Olamide Oladosu and Laura Smallcombe.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth

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