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CommentP&M Notebook

P&M Notebook: comeback tours

For regulation geeks, the pace of life is accelerating with the release of a whole package of new European banking measures — and maybe a final Basel IV before year-end. But what struck GlobalCapital this week was the string of senior DCM bankers returning to the market.

To take them in order,  Monday saw MUFG (Mitsubishi; they keep rebranding themselves) announce it had hired Christopher Marks, former head of DCM at BNP Paribas, as its new head of emerging markets banking for EMEA. The reason it was surprising was that Marks was asked to leave BNP Paribas in connection with the $8.9bn fine the French bank paid to the US government over sanctions violations.

In fact, Marks’s departure was the first tremor GlobalCapital heard of the whole thing. He was asked to leave the bank without passing go, and certainly without collecting £200, and then there was total lockdown. Anyway, Marks was one of 13 individuals fingered by the US authorities as part of the settlement, and no DCM banker is worth fighting the US government over. The fine itself, and the moral dimension of BNPP’s wrongdoing (if any) isn’t really worth revisiting here, but suffice to say, plenty of people in the market thought the French bank had been hard done by, and the US was unfairly using its reserve currency status to enforce its foreign policy objectives.

The DoJ fine didn’t prevent Marks working in the market, but it may have discouraged other banks, still grappling with their own legal difficulties, from snapping him up. He’s been working for the African Development Bank and consulting since leaving BNPP, keeping his hand in, and maintaining the client list he’ll need for the new gig at Mitsubishi.

Next came Bryan Pascoe, former global head of DCM at HSBC. His exit was rather more sedate than that of Marks, seeing as he simply switched sides, joining the client side as treasurer of the bank. It was a serious gig not for the faint-hearted — until this month, the bank topped the table for most systemically important institution in the world, and ramped up its annual funding plan by a cool $10bn while Pascoe was in post (it’s done more than $30bn of TLAC this year alone).

But it didn’t last long. Pascoe became treasurer in May 2015, only to return to banking this December as head of client coverage in the commercial bank.

HSBC has, for a long time now, been trying to connect these clients to its investment banking teams, an effort that’s only going to intensify as Matthew Westerman, the co-head of global banking, who joined earlier this year, warms his feet properly under the table. Part of that has meant switching bankers between global banking and markets and the commercial bank. Natalie Blyth, who was co-head of UK investment banking, switched over to run trade finance, while Russell Julius, one of the firm’s most senior bankers and now co-head of North American global banking, also had a stint in CMB.

Finally, welcome back to Fabio Lisanti, the former head of DCM and client solutions at UBS. When Amir Hoveyda returned to a product role last year, becoming global head of DCM rather than vice-chairman of banking, Lisanti ended up seeking a job elsewhere. UBS found him a job working directly for Andrea Orcel, chief executive of the investment bank, and six months or so into it, he seemed happy, relaxed, and cheerful. Whatever Orcel had him doing, it certainly seemed easier and more fun than managing a DCM team. But he left the bank in the summer, and worked for BSI Bank, a Swiss private institution, advising the CEO.

Now he’s been hired by Citi to run markets and securities services for Italy. When reporting his UBS role, it’s irksome to write that “DCM and client solutions” (why can’t all banks just call their fixed income origination teams plain old DCM?), but it has relevance here. Lisanti’s team, unusually, straddled private and public sides so a chunk of UBS’s fixed income structuring and trading reported in to him (and now into Hoveyda). Lisanti’s predecessor, Renzo Arcoria, who was also country head for Italy, has headed to India to run markets and securities services there. Lisanti won’t get the country head gig, however. This goes instead to Leopoldo Attolico, co-head of Italian investment banking.

Finally, it’s worth talking about James Garvey, head of capital markets at Lloyd s. He hasn’t been out of the market, but has just got a big leg up, in that all of Lloyds’ trading businesses will now report into him, as the bank preps its new structure for a post-ring fencing world.

Richard Moore, head of financial markets at the British bank, is stepping down next year, and financial markets will be rolled up with Garvey’s division into “CB Markets” (it stands for “Commercial Banking Markets”). Lloyds is another serial rebrander, much to the annoyance of journalists, but it’s a good gig for Garvey.

When he joined in 2009, as an ex-Goldman banker, attracting him to a state-owned UK-focused commercial bank was seen as quite a coup (though this led even the Daily Mail to comment on his comp package) but he’s established a quality, focused, UK-centric operation since then. There’s been some expensive hiring, but selectively, and with an eye on organic growth. It can’t have hurt that Lloyds was one of the most active FIG clients around in the post-crisis years, but it’s an impressive achievement.

Lastly, in notable people news last week, comes the departure of Michael Sherwood of Goldman Sachs. Plenty has been written elsewhere about Sherwood’s decision, but David Rothnie reviews his 30 year Goldman career in Southpaw this week and explains how the firm has consistently been bigger than the individual. For some bond market nostalgia, it’s worth having a flick through the GlobalCapital archive to see how the late, lamented Ian Kerr viewed Sherwood’s rise.

The regulatory stuff is worth a look too, but we’re out of space here — still, for the impact of the “CRD V” package on repo, covered bonds, SME lending and infrastructure, we have you covered. More important still are the rules on bail-in debt, and how Europe’s G-SIFIs have to meet TLAC standards.

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