Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » Abbey National’s Nathan Bostock beats Alliance & Leicester’s Chris Rhodes to group FD role

Chris Rhodes, once one of the best-starred executives at
& Leicester
, has lost his job as group finance director to
CFO Nathan Bostock following the announcement of the new
management structure post-A&L merger.

His departure from the role came days after the completion of Grupo
Santander’s acquisition of A&L which, along with Bradford & Bingley’s
deposit book and branch network, has been folded into Abbey.

Rhodes’s role was effectively made redundant in October when Abbey appointed
its own Bostock as CFO and an executive director of the newly created, unified
board to run the finances at both Abbey and A&L. Abbey CFO since February
2005, Bostock is also executive director of retail products and marketing, HR,
credit cards and insurance.

Despite taking such a significant demotion from the job he was promoted into
in July last year, Rhodes remains at the merged entity joining the executive
committee as head of A&L’s retail distribution business. The move sees him
return to his old stomping ground where he served five years as managing
director of retail banking prior to becoming group FD.

Reduced role
In his abbreviated capacity, he will have close dealings with Bostock as
executive director of retail products, and Abbey’s executive director of retail
distribution Alison Brittain, who joined Abbey in January this year.

“The new role makes sense,” a spokesperson for A&L said.

Rhodes should have had much to celebrate in 2008, his 20th year with A&
L. At one stage earlier this year, he looked to be ascending the corporate
ladder fast. Having become group FD from a relatively low profile role, he
gained prominence this January by assuming the additional role of interim CEO
when David Bennett was signed off ill, helping the bank breach a management gap
at a crucial time.

Bennett returned to his job in May and the Santander acquisition was
announced two months later. He has also taken a demotion from chief executive of
A&L, losing out to Abbey chief executive and Santander’s executive vice
president, Antonio Horta-Osorio, instead settling for joining the combined board
as integration advisor and executive director.