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RBS takes the axe to senior investment banking tech team

Royal Bank of Scotland has cut three senior technologists in its investment bank as it looks to streamline its IT functions.

Jon Butler, head of electronic trading, markets at RBS and Ian Morris, head of prime services and financing technology have left the bank, according to sources close to the situation. Butler is relocating to the U.S., while Morris’ plans are unclear. Sources also suggest that Matthew Hampson, head of architecture and change, is due to leave the bank.

RBS confirmed the departure of Butler and Morris.

Scott Marcar was promoted to chief information officer, markets, at RBS in August, from his previous role of head of risk and finance technology, and said that a large part of his role would be focused on creating cost-efficiencies. Nonetheless, sources suggest that move to streamline the senior ranks came as a surprise.

Butler joined RBS in September 2009 from Goldman Sachs, where he was European head of equities technology. Morris was recruited from UBS in April 2010, where he was global head of prime services IT. Despite the vast transformation projects that have been undertaken on RBS’s technology systems since 2007 – as well as the redundancies and increased used of offshoring among the rank and file IT professionals – the senior management with the tech team has remained in place.

Nonetheless, as RBS’s investment bank has been scaled back, some tough choices have had to be made around which technology to maintain.

“The next few years will be around less tech that needs to do more,” Marcar told CIO magazine previously. “When the company was in a revenue chasing model, the technology had to follow that line. Where capital is more constrained we need to take the complexity out of the environment.” Foreign exchange, he said, would be a key area of focus.

RBS announced in February that it would continue to scale back headcount in its investment bank, particularly middle and back office functions, like IT support. It has exited entire business areas, such as M&A, cash equities, commodities and structured credit and cut more than 5,000 jobs in the investment bank.

RBS has lost a number of senior investment bankers in recent weeks including William Fall, its global head of the financial institutions group, Brian Reid, global head of sales, Mark Barnes head of macro trading and FX options and Sian Hurrell, head of EMEA sales.

AUTHORPaul Clarke
  • al
    7 May 2013

    any idea about nomura bonuses, which were communicated this week?

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