Multimillionaire RBS sales superstar makes comeback, underscores that banks are for suckers

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One of the big-name bankers associated with over-generous payments in the aftermath of the financial crisis has quietly reappeared in the City of London. EuroMoney reports that Antonio Polverino has found a new job at Talbot Capital, a little known boutique with brokerage and corporate finance arms. 

Polverino caused outrage in the wake of the financial crisis, when it emerged that he'd received one of the largest guaranteed bonuses of 2009 as an incentive to join Royal Bank of Scotland after the bank was rescued by the British government. Polverino's package was initially said to be $5m over two years, but this was later increased to an alleged £7m.  RBS isn't known for being the biggest payer and Polverino left the British bank in June 2012, after his gigantic guaranteed package expired.  

Now he's back. Polverino has joined Talbot Capital in August after 14 months out of the market. Nor is he the only one to join the low-key boutique. The Financial Conduct Authority Register shows that Talbot Capital has hired four people so far this year, increasing its headcount to 10 people.

What made Polverino, who was previously head of fixed income currencies and commodities sales at Merrill Lynch, opt for such a low-key return to the City? There was no one answering the telephone at Talbot Capital to tell us the answer. However, headhunters say there are plenty of big-name, well-paid Polverino-type bankers waiting in the wings and that few of them want to work in banks any more.

"It's absolutely standard for senior bankers to take a few years out and then come back to something other than a bank," says Simon Head, co-head of Correlate Search in London. "There's no reason for these people to work in banks now - if they work for a small brokerage firm they'll still be able to access all their relationships and will get paid 100% cash and come away with a bigger percentage of their production.

"Senior people like Polverino are going nowhere near banks now," says Head.

Earlier this year, Ben Shooter, a top hedge fund salesman at Credit Suisse, left the Swiss bank for JB Drax, an agency broking firm which is building a hedge fund sales business. Other senior salesmen are likely to follow, predicts Head.


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