RBS names Asia corporate & institutional head

Pierre Ferland is appointed, while Madan Menon, co-head of markets and international banking, is to leave the bank.

Royal Bank of Scotland has made its first leadership appointment in Asia-Pacific since the bank unveiled a simplified structure in February.

Pierre Ferland, currently the co-head of markets and international banking for Asia-Pacific, has been appointed head of corporate & institutional banking for Asia-Pacific.

An RBS spokeswoman confirmed the move, which is effective May 1.

In February, in an effort to simplify the business, RBS combined seven business divisions into three – personal & business banking, commercial & private banking and corporate & institutional banking.

However, as RBS does not service retail or small-to-medium enterprise customers in Asia, its focus in the region is primarily in corporate and institutional banking.

Ferland will be leading RBS's wholesale bank in Asia-Pacific. He will join the corporate and institutional leadership team, led by Donald Workman, executive chairman for corporate & institutional banking.

Workman was previously executive chairman for RBS Asia-Pacific but moved back to London a few months ago to take on his current bigger role.

Ferland reports to Workman.

As part of the changes, Madan Menon, who is co-head of markets and international banking for Asia-Pacific, has decided to leave the bank. However, he will work with Ferland in the coming months to ensure a transfer of responsibilities.

Madan, who is based in Singapore, joined RBS in 2007 as head of global banking and markets India, moving across from Barclays Capital where he was co-chief executive for India.

Prior to the change, Ferland headed up the markets business in Asia-Pacific, which encompasses credit, sales, trading and debt capital markets.

Menon was head of international banking for Asia-Pacific, which encompasses transaction services.

However, RBS is in the midst of combining both international banking and markets once again - under the newly christened corporate and institutional banking platform.

The international banking and markets business used to be combined but were split up about two years ago. 

The latest appointment comes amid changes in RBS's top brass and a strategy review - which was unveiled by RBS's new chief executive Ross McEwan in February.

McEwan came on board RBS in October last year and the bank hired Ewen Stevenson from Credit Suisse as its chief financial officer on Friday.

“There is a new CEO and these are the first dominos that fall in Asia,” said one banking source. “It will be interesting to see the changes that follow in Asia under Pierre," he added.

The bank has seen departures in senior management in the last 12 months. Last year, John McCormick, group chairman and chief executive of RBS Asia-Pacific markets and international banking business, left the group after 17 years, more than seven of which were spent in Asia.

RBS is present in 10 countries across Asia-Pacific and focuses on forex, rates, credit, debt capital markets and transaction services.

The Edinburgh-based bank was rescued by the British government through a £46 billion bailout in 2008 in the middle of the financial crisis and the bank has been under pressure to cut costs and shrink its balance sheet.

RBS posted a net loss of about £9 billion ($15 billion) in 2013 – its biggest since 2008 and wider than the £6.1 billion in the previous year.

Pierre Ferland’s bio

Ferland was appointed as RBS’s head of markets in 2008, after four years in London where he headed RBS's financial institutions client coverage division in September 2004. 

He began his career at National Bank of Canada, where he spent seven years in foreign exchange and fixed-income in Montreal and the bank's Tokyo and Singapore branches.

In 1993, Ferland joined Banco Santander, where he worked in fixed-income in Tokyo and Singapore. In 1997, he joined National Westminister Bank (NatWest) in Tokyo as head of interest rate trading, eventually becoming the bank's head of trading and branch in 2001.

In May 2003, NatWest transferred the majority of its market activities to RBS's securities division and Ferland was appointed chairman and representative for RBS Securities Japan Limited.

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