HSBC Revamps U.S. Investment Bank as Senior Executives Exit

Four of HSBC Holdings Plc’s most senior bankers in the U.S. with about six decades of combined service are leaving the investment bank as part of an overhaul of its New York operations.

Robert Gelnaw, head of debt capital markets for North America, Lex Malas, head of advisory and investment banking coverage for the Americas, Jim Kelly, head of corporate banking in North America, and Duncan Caird, co-head of real assets and structured finance Americas, are departing, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.

Gelnaw and Kelly didn’t respond to requests for comment. Malas couldn’t be reached. Caird declined to comment.

HSBC Revamps U.S. Investment Bank as Senior Executives Exit

Gelnaw had worked for the bank for more than 18 years helping develop its North American bond business, while Kelly had spent 16 years at the lender holding several senior leadership roles throughout that time, according to a memo sent Friday and seen by Bloomberg. Caird joined HSBC more than 15 years ago and had been involved in building up the bank’s renewable financing and advisory business in the U.S.

Malas was the most recent joiner having worked for HSBC since 2010. He started as co-head of leveraged and acquisition finance for the Americas before going on to roles including head of capital financing and interim head of global banking Americas.

New Appointments

As part of the reshuffle, Citigroup Inc.’s Patrice Altongy is joining HSBC in September as head of debt capital markets, Americas, according to an internal memo sent Monday. A representative for Citigroup declined to comment.

Sarah Salih, head of FIG, Americas, will now head regional coverage, Americas, according to the same memo. Alfred Traboulsi, head of equity capital markets and strategic equity and financing, Americas, will also run capital financing and investment banking coverage for the region.

Mike Banchik, a structured finance banker, has been appointed head of real asset and structured finance, Americas. James Edmonds has been appointed head of real asset finance, Americas, reporting to Banchik.

Bank Revamp

The changes come with HSBC planning to revamp its Global Banking business in the Americas to better serve Asian clients and those who want to invest in Asia, a person familiar with the matter said. Plans include hiring four managing directors and another 50 bankers over this year and next.

“We are continuing to invest and hire senior bankers who can be strategic advisors to the C-Suite of our clients, especially in terms of sector bankers, financial sponsor coverage and in the financing teams,” said Gerry Keefe, head of global banking, Americas. Keefe joined HSBC in January from Citigroup, where he had worked for 14 years most recently as global head of sales, treasury and trade solutions.

HSBC is in the midst of a global reorganization intended to focus its resources on growing its core Asian markets, which generate most of its profits and are seen as providing the lender with the best growth opportunities.

The strategy has seen HSBC scale back some of its retail operations outside of Asia. Last month, the bank announced the sale of much of its U.S. domestic mass market business to Citizens Financial Group Inc., a Providence, Rhode Island-based regional lender. It has also agreed to transfer its French retail bank to private equity firm Cerberus.

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