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By Steve Slater
LONDON, Nov 23 (IFR) - Matthew Westerman, HSBC’s co-head of global banking, is leaving the British bank, less than two years after his high-profile arrival from Goldman Sachs.
HSBC did not give any reason for his departure in an internal memo from Samir Assaf, chief executive of HSBC’s global banking and markets, which was seen by IFR.
His global banking co-head Robin Phillips will assume day-to-day management of the business after a period of transition, the memo said.
Westerman had clashed with other people at the bank and had not fit in with HSBC’s more collegiate culture, according to one person who worked with him.
Westerman was hired by Stuart Gulliver and was close to the outgoing chief executive. Gulliver is stepping down as CEO in February after seven years in charge, to be replaced by John Flint, the head of retail banking and wealth management.
Westerman did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
He was hired in February 2016 and was seen as a potential candidate to step up and run the investment bank at some point in the future.
Westerman spent 16 years at Goldman, where he was most recently chairman of its investment banking division in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Sources said at the time he had planned to retire from Goldman, when the call came from HSBC.
His arrival at HSBC was a surprise, but he had had close ties to HSBC and Gulliver for some time, as Goldman was HSBC’s corporate broker and he worked on the bank’s £12.8bn rights issue in 2009 and other transactions.
Assaf said in the memo that Westerman had made a “significant contribution” to re-shaping the global banking business alongside Phillips.
They had “together driven improved financial and market share performance and reinvigorated our approach to collaboration in global banking and markets, as well as across commercial banking,” the memo said.
But Westerman had sharpened divisions at the bank, including with bonus payments, Bloomberg reported. It said he had introduced a harsher end-of-year review procedure and promoted a smaller percentage of candidates to managing director. (Reporting by Steve Slater)