When you think of an expansionary, aggressive, high-paying bank that's out there poaching investment bankers from rival firms, you probably don't think of Lloyds Commercial Bank. In fact, when Lloyds reported its annual results a few weeks ago, no mention of its investment banking activities was made at all. Unlike Royal Bank of Scotland, whose investment bank is a byword for greed and wrongdoing in the public mind, Lloyds' government-owned investment bank is seen as a non-entity. It's never mentioned.
And yet, Lloyds Wholesale Bank has been doing a lot of hiring, particularly in debt capital markets (DCM). The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register reveals that so far this year Lloyds has hired Guy de Cacqueray, an associate director in fixed income from Intesa San Paulo and a former trader from Credit Suisse, David Tweedie, a former vice president in corporate sales from RBS, Christopher Martin, a former director in structured product sales from Deutsche Bank, Hugues Lasalle, a former senior manager from Deloitte (and ex-risk manager at Barclays), and Naveen Rathour, a former DCM banker from SocGen.
One headhunter, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lloyds is engaged in a big build-out of its debt capital markets business. "They're spending a lot of money on DCM and have been offering big packages," he says. However, Lloyds insiders insist the bank is merely filling spaces on a one-in-one out basis and has a very limited mandate to increase DCM headcount in 2014. “Other than hires to replace those who leave the bank, we have no plans to grow our capital markets team this year," says James Garvey, Managing Director, Capital Markets at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. " When we have grown our teams it has always been measured and sensible, to meet the needs of our corporate and financial institution clients, to help them capitalise on the capital markets as an alternative financing source to support their own growth ambitions,” he adds.
Last year, Lloyds hired Keval Shah from Citigroup as head of financial and corporate syndicate in September. This followed the arrival of Eva Porz from UBS as head of capital structuring in July. Headhunters say both Shah and Porz were expensive hires, costing $750k+.