Stephen Hester appoints Nathan Bostock for RBS turnaround role

Abbey CFO takes newly created role to de-risk business

23 Mar 2009

By Melanie Stern

Nathan Bostock

Five months after landing as CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland, Stephen Hester has wasted no time bringing Abbey CFO Nathan Bostock (right), his former colleague and a seasoned risk manager, back to his old employer to rid its balance sheet of £385bn in ‘toxic’ and other non-core assets.

Taking on the specially created role of head of restructuring and risk this June, Bostock must wind down or dispose of the assets in RBS’s recently-created non-core division, which include its asset management business, lending in real estate, leveraged finance, project finance and asset finance, ‘non-conforming’ asset-backed origination, illiquid proprietary trading and structured credit trading, and derivatives positions worth £145bn.

Bostock joins the executive committee alongside Hester, to whom he will report, group FD Guy Whittaker and deputy CEO, Gordon Pell. He will also take responsibility for RBS’s risk and legal functions.

Bostock is a neat fit for one of British banking’s most difficult jobs having worked at RBS in risk management before, and with Hester at Abbey.

He joined Abbey National in November 2001 as COO for its treasury services business, six months before Stephen Hester became group FD. In 2003, when Abbey reported a full-year pre-tax loss of almost £1bn for 2002 and halved its annual dividend, Bostock and Hester created Abbey’s ‘portfolio business unit’ to house assets that fell outside its refocus on UK personal financial services – parts of its wholesale bank such as debt securities, corporate loans and its private equity portfolio – and Bostock led its wind-down and disposal.

He was appointed Abbey’s group CFO and joined the executive committee in November 2004 when Hester left for British Land and the bank was sold to Grupo Santander, adding Alliance & Leicester to his remit when it was acquired by Santander last year, and merged with Abbey.

Before Abbey, Bostock spent nine years with RBS having joined in 1992 as director of group risk management, later becoming COO for treasury and capital markets. While there, he redesigned group risk management strategy – building on his existing experience having spent five years as head of risk analysis and finance, treasury and interest derivatives for Europe at Chase Manhattan Bank.

Abbey declined to disclose when it would announce Bostock’s successor. He is the second FD to leave the group in recent months. Chris Rhodes, A&L’s former FD who lost his role to Bostock and was made director of retail distribution when the business was merged with Abbey, has joined the board at Nationwide Building Society as group product and marketing director.

Read our interview with Stephen Hester while he was FD of Abbey
Read our coverage of Nathan Bostock while at Abbey

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