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.