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Moves in Brief: February 25, 2021

By Aidan Gregory, Burhan Khadbai, Jon Hay
25 Feb 2021

NatWest boosts Floyd — Gabi gone: HSBC reshuffles DCM — UniCredit replaces Hecker — Bots takes two

NatWest boosts Floyd

NatWest has promoted Carla Floyd to head of debt and financing solutions — a newly created job that sits in its ringfenced bank but nonetheless effectively involves running debt capital markets origination for corporate clients.

Based in London, Floyd, who joined NatWest in 2007, has most recently been head of UK corporates and specialised sectors, within corporate financing and risk solutions. 

In that role she reported to James Hughan-Ray, head of corporate financing and risk solutions. He is moving to a new job, which has not been announced yet.

Floyd's new position is a result of the reorganisation begun in August by Robert Begbie, who had recently taken over as CEO of NatWest Markets. 

The organisation of staff has also had to take account of NatWest's separation into a ringfenced UK entity, NatWest Holdings, and NatWest Markets, the investment bank outside the ringfence. Despite the legal separation, NatWest has a "one bank philosophy", in which staff from both entities work closely together to provide a seamless service to clients. Both units serve clients in the UK and continental Europe.

Floyd and Hughan-Ray are among several thousand staff who have moved in the past year from NatWest Markets into NatWest Holdings.

The new appointment took effect on Monday, after a recruitment process in which internal and external candidates were considered.

In the August reorganisation, Begbie disbanded NWM's financing and risk solutions group. Its head, Scott Satriano, left the bank.

A new capital markets group was created to replace FRS. Jonathan Peberdy, former head of syndicate, became interim head of it, and in January he was given that job on a permanent basis. He reports to Begbie.

The new group Floyd is running in the ringfenced bank, which includes her old responsibilities as well as new ones, works closely with Peberdy's group in NWM.

Floyd's team originates bonds, hybrid capital, private placements, derivatives and lending — the flow side of capital markets. Peberdy's team runs the execution side of capital markets.

A separate team originates more structured transactions. Both that and Floyd report to Andrew Blincoe, head of corporates and institutions.

Gabi gone: HSBC reshuffles DCM

HSBC has reorganised the management of its public sector debt capital markets business following the departure of Frédéric Gabizon at the end of March after a 35 year stint at the bank.

Gabizon was most recently head of European public sector DCM and head of France and Belgium DCM at HSBC. In addition to DCM, Gabizon also held senior roles in M&A and structured finance.

In preparation for Gabizon’s departure at the end of March, Jerome Pellet has been appointed head of corporate and public sector DCM origination, France, effective from April 1.

Pellet has been at HSBC for more than 20 years, growing the bank’s Paris-based DCM franchise.

He will continue to be based in Paris and report functionally to Adam Bothamley, HSBC’s global co-head of DCM, and on an entity basis to Frédéric Coutant, co-head of global banking, HSBC continental Europe. 

Meanwhile, Asif Sherani, HSBC’s head of DCM syndicate for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will take on additional responsibility for overseeing the bank’s SSA DCM business.

Sherani, who has been at HSBC since 2012, will continue to be based in London and report to Bothamley.

UniCredit replaces Hecker

UniCredit’s global head of equity capital markets and equity syndicate has left the bank after allegations of having done inappropriate side work for Markus Braun, former CEO of the collapsed Germany payments company Wirecard.

Jana Hecker has left with immediate effect, a spokesperson for UniCredit said. Luca Falco, head of global syndicate and capital markets, is assuming her responsibilities on an interim basis. A new global head of ECM will be appointed in due course.

UniCredit employees were told of Hecker’s departure in a staff memo on Tuesday.

Her departure comes after a report appeared in the Financial Times last Friday that she had worked privately as a financial adviser to Braun, then CEO of Wirecard, between March and May 2020, in the last few months before Wirecard collapsed amid fraud allegations in June.

The news of her involvement with Braun is understood to have come as a total shock to UniCredit staff.

Hecker had joined the bank in March 2020 from Deutsche Bank, where she had been co-head of equity cash and strategic derivatives for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It was in this role at Deutsche that Hecker was initially involved with helping to finance Braun with a personal loan secured on his 7% stake in Wirecard, according to the FT.

In a report based on emails between Hecker and the Braun family, the newspaper alleged that Hecker had continued to work privately for Braun’s family office after leaving Deutsche and joining UniCredit. She spent more than 150 hours helping Braun’s family office refinance the loan, which had been called by Deutsche in 2019. The loan was eventually refinanced by Oldenburgische Landesbank and a fund controlled by Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet. Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet

Hecker could not be reached for comment.

Bots takes two

Bond Origination Technologies (Bots), a new tech company that aims to automate pricing indications in the primary debt capital markets, has made two hires as it prepares to launch its first live pilot in the second quarter.

Paul Kelleher has joined Bots as senior security DevOps engineer. He will be in charge of the platform’s security, compliance and cloud infrastructure.

Kelleher has more than 20 years’ experience and was previously a data engineering lead at Vanquis bank, according to his Linkedin profile.

Meanwhile, Andrew Fernando has joined as a senior software engineer. He will focus on the back-end development of the Bots application and data integrations.

Fernando has spent the last 12 years leading software projects at Octopus Investments, Barclaycard and Sainsbury’s Bank.

The new hires take the total full-time staff of Bots to six, with a seventh hire expected in early March.

The firm also has three advisers with an extensive background in the capital markets working on a part-time basis who helped support the initial fundraising round last year.

Bots is currently on-boarding its first bank clients with a live pilot of the platform expected to launch in the second quarter.

“Some banks have been able to move very quickly while others are still going through internal decision-making processes, but the overall feedback has been really strong and so we’re scaling up the team to be able to meet the demand,” Stephan Gimpel, CEO of Bots, told GlobalCapital.

London-based Bots was set up last year by Gimpel and Oliver Corstjens, two former bond bankers at Citi.

For every bond transaction that is executed, banks send swathes of pricing indications to issuers as part of their coverage and mandate pitching. This is done manually, using emails, spreadsheets and data feeds.

Bots aims to consolidate the new issue pricing process within a single web application, bringing together all relevant market data, calculations and analytics and, with the use of algorithms, reduce the manual workload for syndicate and DCM bankers.

By Aidan Gregory, Burhan Khadbai, Jon Hay
25 Feb 2021