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Who is Rob Leith, the new head of investment banking and global markets at Troika Dialog?

Last week, Troika Dialog announced a new head of investment banking and global markets, starting January 2012. The position went to Rob Leith, the 49-year-old executive chief of the corporate and investment banking business of South Africa’s Standard Bank – who’s joining Troika in January 2012.

So who is Mr. Leith and what you do you need to know in the event that you have an interview with him?

1) He’s an international banker with significant cross-border experience

Leith specializes in global M&A. A South African by birth, he studied at the University of Cape Town before leaving for London in 1989, where he built his career at Standard Bank.
At Standard Bank, Leith was engaged in major cross border deals, including the sale of 20% of Standard Bank itself to Commercial Bank of China, and Standard’s purchase of a 36.4% stake in Troika Dialog in 2009 (which it sold to Sberbank in March).

As Russian banks expand overseas, Leith’s cross border expertise is a plus for any other international bankers who want to work for a Moscow-based firm. Leith himself has pointed out in the past that it’s difficult to find people with cross border experience.

2) He’s a Standard Bank man

Unusually, Leith appears to have spent his entire career at Standard Bank – 20 years in total. If you encounter him in an interview, you may wish to mention your acquaintance with Standard Bankers or any Standard Bank alumni.

3) He doesn’t appear to want to work in Africa

In August, Standard Bank said it was moving its wholesale business from London to Johannesburg. The fact that Leith’s quit now may suggest he doesn’t fancy moving home. Troika hasn’t said whether Leith will be based in Moscow or London, but he will be hiring. According to the Banking Times , he will be, “tasked with bolstering its status as a leading adviser to Russian and international institutions and continuing the development of its Global Markets business.”

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