RBS’s $11m ‘golden hello’ sales super-star Polverino launches own hedge fund

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Antonio Polverino, the big-name banker who allegedly received a £7m ($11m) guaranteed bonus for joining Royal Bank of Scotland shortly after it had been bailed out by the UK government, is launching his own hedge fund, we can exclusively reveal.

Apartners Capital has just been given approval by the Financial Conduct Authority and lists Polverino as its chief executive. Little else is known about the fund at this point – its website is currently under construction and our attempts to contact Polverino were unsuccessful.

What we do know, however, is that another senior Royal Bank of Scotland employee has also joined the venture. Stephen Gargiulo, managing director and head of CEEMEA sales for RBS’s investment bank, signed up to Apartners Capital in March and is listed as a director.

Polverino took the role of global head of financial institutions and strategic financing at RBS in 2009 and left June 2012, after his large guaranteed package expired. He joined Talbot Capital, a boutique with brokerage and corporate finance divisions, after over a year out of the City in August 2013.

The concept of a ‘golden hello’ is a distant memory in the wake of regulatory crackdowns on investment banking pay, but they were still commonplace in 2008, even in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis. However, Polverino’s package prompted fierce criticism, coming shortly after RBS had accepted billions from the UK government.

Previously, he was head of European fixed income currency and commodities sales at Merrill Lynch, having previously been one of four managing directors from a team of 23 derivatives specialists poached from JPMorgan in 2005.

Gargiulo, meanwhile, has formerly worked for both Barclays investment bank and Lehman Brothers. He has a degree in chemical engineering from Yale University and a Masters of Business Administration from Trinity College, Dublin.

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