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What happens to Renshaw Bay now that Bill Winters is joining Standard Chartered?

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Bill Winters has been returned to mainstream banking, having been unveiled as the new CEO of Standard Chartered.  But since leaving J.P. Morgan, where he was co-chief executive, Winters has been keeping a comparatively low profile leading private debt fund management firm Renshaw Bay in London. Winters owns half of the company and is already putting his stake up for sale.

Winters has, not surprisingly, been tapping his former employer for talent and, for a boutique operation, has been on something of a recruitment drive. Suddenly, the company is headless and new hires have every right to be worried.

Last month alone, Ronni Astroff, a VP in J.P. Morgan’s real estate business, made the switch across to Renshaw Bay. Within the last year, Mark Creswell, a former MD at J.P. Morgan, Darryn Church, an ex-Deutsche Postbank director and analysts Rupal Shah, Stuart Thomson and Eualalia Massaque all joined. Renshaw has 26 FCA registered employees.

In the wake of Winters’ departure, this appears to be unfortunate timing. Winters is the founder and it’s largely on the back of his reputation that the firm got off the ground. On securing funding for Renshaw Bay from RIT Capital Partners in 2011, owner Jacob Rothschild described Winters as “among a handful of truly exceptional leaders in the finance community”. Winters clearly holds a lot of sway.

But since then, a number of former J.P. Morgan heavyweights have joined Renshaw and could potentially steady the ship after Winters’ departure. Venu Thirunamachandran, the former global head of fixed income hybrids and exotics at J.P. Morgan is head of investment strategy and structured finance, Jon Rickert, former head of real estate finance at J.P Morgan’s investment bank has the same position at Renshaw and Peter Rosenbauer, an ex-Blackrock MD, is head of business development. An obvious successor is at hand internally, or it’s new owners could opt to sell it on to a larger competitor.

The latest accounts for the firm to 31 December 2013, filed on Companies House late last year, show how much the firm has expanded. At the end of 2012, it had 10 employees, a figure which swelled to 25 in 2013. It spent £4.7m on wages and salaries, or an average of £188k.

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