Promoting from within
New RMB Private Bank head illustrates inner workings
RMB HAS APPOINTED a young high flyer to look after its wealthiest private clients. Sean Farrell (38) has been named head of RMB Private Bank – the FirstRand group’s elite offering to its high net-worth clients.
Farrell’s promotion frees founding CEO Willie Miller to oversee top- end banking and trust services for the group as head of FNB’s Wealth Segment and Trust Services. He will also take overall responsibility for RMB Private Bank. He is also seeking to increase synergies with the FirstRand group’s offshore asset manager, Ashburton, and various international trust companies it owns.
The moves further illustrate the inner workings of the FirstRand group. It prefers promoting its brightest managers from within the organisation and strives to develop executive talent internally. Until recently, Farrell served as chief f inancial off icer ( CFO) at FNB Wealth Segment. He was previously CFO at fledgling private bank Origin and retained the position when Origin and Ansbacher merged in 2002 and were rebranded RMB Private Bank.
Despite serving similar markets, the group intends keeping its RMB Private Bank and FNB Wealth Segment offerings separate. RMB Private Bank has about 20 000 clients, most of whom it acquired organically, while FNB has about 30 000 customers with a similar profile, but who prefer being able to use the group’s branch infrastructure and who have a stronger affinity to the retail brand.
FNB’s retail competitors have their own branded private banking divisions. By developing a wealth segment within the bank, the group is hoping to make the FNB brand more aspirational to clients.
Farrell says the group sees both divisions as having significant growth potential. Most RMB Private Bank clients, he says, have accounts with more than one financial institution. He says his key task is to up the number of RMB Private Bank products and services they use.
New energy to acquire fresh clients. Sean Farrell