StanChart names Barclays banker as new global private banking head

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Standard Chartered has named former Barclays Plc banker Didier von Daeniken as its global head of private banking and wealth management, in the latest streamlining of management at the embattled London-based lender.

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Von Daeniken takes on a new role leading the private banking and wealth management divisions which had previously been run by separate people, according to an internal announcement seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Incumbent global head of private banking Michael Benz will leave the bank on December 18, the memo said, and von Daeniken will join the bank in March pending regulatory approval.

Singapore-based spokesman for StanChart Piers Townsend confirmed the contents of the memo.

StanChart, under new CEO Bill Winters, announced on Nov. 3 plans to axe 15,000 jobs, as part of a plan to restore profitability after three years of falling profits and strategic mistakes.

Part of the turnaround plan includes streamlining the bank’s management structure and cutting the bloated senior ranks. Under previous CEO Peter Sands, employee expenses had jumped to $6.7 billion in 2014, pushing up the widely tracked cost-to-income ratio to 60 percent.

Winters also said in his strategy presentation the bank had pinpointed private banking and wealth as a business to invest in, saying he wanted to grow assets under management by $25 billion by 2018.

The bank’s chief executive for commercial banking Anna Marrs will serve as interim head of private banking until von Daeniken arrives, the memo said.

Von Daeniken joins StanChart from Barclays, where he had since 2007 run the private banking division in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Barclays spokespeople could not be reached immediately for comments.

Reuters on Tuesday separately reported StanChart would axe senior bankers in its energy mergers team.

Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Muralikumar Anantharaman