RBS chairman John McCormick to leave

He will be succeeded by Donald Workman, who has been appointed executive chairman RBS Asia Pacific.
Donald Workman
Donald Workman

John McCormick, group chairman and chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland’s Asia-Pacific markets and international banking business, will be leaving the group later this year after 17 years at the bank, more than seven of which were spent in Asia.

During that time, he was involved in the integration of ABN Amro, the divestment of the retail and commercial banking business, and the restructuring of RBS’s markets and international banking business.

McCormick will be succeeded by Donald Workman, who has been named executive chairman, RBS Asia Pacific. Workman will begin the transition into this role immediately to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities to clients, regulators and staff, according to an RBS statement.

Workman will report jointly to John Owen, chief executive of international banking, and Suneel Kamlani and Peter Nielsen, co-CEOs of markets. He will chair the Asia-Pacific executive committee and will also attend the RBS group executive committee.

However, unlike McCormick, he will not hold the title of CEO for Asia-Pacific markets and international banking. According to a source, the bank is doing away with that role in the region — to keep it consistent with the global structure. John Hourican, who was previously global CEO of markets and international banking left RBS earlier this year and his role was not replaced.

“This is consistent with the re-alignment of the markets and international banking organisational structure globally, but recognises the importance of the Asia-Pacific chairman’s role for strategy, governance and cross-business flows,” the source says.

Both Pierre Ferland, head of markets for Asia Pacific, and Madan Menon, the region’s head of international banking, will have a reporting line to Workman, as they did with McCormick.

Workman has worked at RBS for 21 years, and served most recently as head of its asset protection scheme unit, an important part of RBS’s restructuring. Under the bank’s participation in the scheme, the UK government provided credit insurance for around £230 billion of the bank’s assets. The bank exited the scheme in October last year.

During the past year or so, he has also been involved in a number of internal committees — and his appointment has been read by some to signal a bigger emphasis on corporate governance as the bank has had some run-ins with regulators. Last year, for example, an RBS trader was suspended for attempting to manipulate the Singapore dollar swap offer rate.

Workman has experience in Asia, having led the global banking and markets team working on the strategic cooperation with Bank of China. He subsequently led the ABN Amro Australian business immediately after the takeover. He has also acted as the London/Edinburgh contact for many Asian clients over the years, and will take on McCormick’s client relationships across Asia Pacific.

During his career with the bank, Workman has also been head of corporate banking for Scotland (before the NatWest takeover in 2000), and has been responsible for a number of
specialist units including private equity. After the acquisition of NatWest, he ran the project to integrate the two banks’ corporate banking divisions.

At RBS, markets and international banking refers to the bank’s wholesale banking business, including debt capital markets, forex and rates. RBS exited the equities and M&A business globally last year.

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