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Coutts sharpens focus on investment management with new top roles
20/04/2017 , John Evans, International Editor

Mohammad Kamal Syed has been appointed head of global markets at Coutts, where he will focus on the continued delivery of first class investment performance of Coutts discretionary client portfolios and mandates, the private bank announced this morning.

‘Mo’ Syed will continue to be responsible for chairing Coutts’ investment committee where all key investment market decisions are made, taking oversight of Coutts’ house view on market fundamentals, strategic asset allocation, tactical asset allocation and portfolio risk and optimisation.

He will also continue to oversee the strategic solutions team which includes direct investment opportunities, corporate finance referrals and real estate advisory services for UHNW clients.
In addition, he will join the board of Coutts & Co, subject to regular governance approvals.

At the same time, Camilla Stowell will take on an expanded role as of head of wealth and investment management at Coutts in addition to her existing responsibilities as head of Coutts’ Private Office. In this new role, she will lead Coutts’ portfolio management, investment platform, investment delivery and wealth structuring teams.

The latest changes means that Mr Syed will focus his time on delivering first class investment performance for clients while Ms Stowell will concentrate on ensuring more clients develop deeper investment and advice relationships.

In other moves, Harry Keogh has been appointed head of key client coverage at Coutts, with responsibility for developing client relationships with the bank’s most influential clients. This is in addition to his existing responsibilities leading the sports & entertainment and landowner client groups.

In addition, Rebecca Hughes, managing director, will take on a new role heading up the financial sponsors & executives client group which will serve City individuals in the private equity, hedge fund, asset management and financial tech sectors. 

The changes in the top Coutts roles represent the first executive management realignment by chief executive Peter Flavel since he took over charge of the bank just over a year ago.

The banker is known for his conviction that ‘private banking is wealth management,’ involving a blend of transactional banking, flexible lending and leveraging for clients’ investment portfolios or businesses. 

To deliver all of that, a first class investment platform is essential to deliver first class private banking, Mr Flavel has repeatedly stressed to his team. The bank’s clients are the most influential and successful families, businesses and increasingly entrepreneurs in the UK; their wealth will outlive them and Coutts' role includes investing and protecting client family wealth over many generations making sure that wealth has its intended consequences.

In the announcement, Mr Flavel noted that Coutts in 2016 grew investment AUM by £2 billion, the investment performance sits at the top quartile over one and three years and its disciplined investment process and principles continue to drive results.

“This sharpened focus on investment management is being recognised by our business growth and this reorganisation ensures we have the right people leading the right teams to deliver against our renewed strategy,” he said.

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