Less than two years after coming from Goldman Sachs, Matthew Westerman, joint global banking boss of HSBC , is departing from the lender.
Westerman, who specializes in corporate finance, is a former chairman of Goldman Sachs’ European investment bank and has worked at Rotschild and Credit Suisse First Boston wherein he held senior positions.
The first report of his departure came six weeks after John Flint, HSBC lifer and head of retail banking, was promoted and had the Europe’s biggest lender name its new chief executive.
Westerman was imported to overhaul HSBC’s investment bank and quickly made his mark by revamping the unit and reducing some top financiers. A source also confirmed that his management style which shows abrasiveness had clashed with the lender’s culture, resulting to his possible leave by the end of the month.
For the past 7 years, chief executive of HSBC global banking, Samir Assaf had Westerman and co-head of global banking, Robin Philips to be reported to. After the departure, Phillips will continue to run the division.
Noted in an internal memo from Assaf, thanks for Westerman were stated for his “significant contribution he has made to re-shaping Global Banking”.
Over the first nine months of this year, HSBC’s global banking division earned $2.9 billion of revenues, an increase of 4 percent on the previous year.
Foreseeing Westerman’s Future
Rumors have been going around about Westerman’s for a while about his future at HSBC ever since he was hired from Goldman Sachs about two years ago.
Westerman was trying to make changes as he was often labeled as someone who has an old-fashioned approach to client relationships. Old timers and senior bankers who have stayed at the firm for some time made their leave while those that remained were driven harder and was constantly watched and constantly assessed.
The revamping did not sit well with HSBC’s culture. In recent months, messages from some loyal HSBC staff were voiced out wherein they accuse Westerman had come in to make adjustments and at some point, his confrontational approach was claimed by some to be borderline bullying which they agreed was needed to be replaced by a more consensual approach.
As Westerman took charge, impact from other factors came in to play as he made sure HSBC did not forego on lucrative mandates.
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