RBS Sales Head Jumps To Hedge Fund Element Capital

Jul 31 2014 | 7:54am ET

Jody Shenn and Cordell Eddings (Bloomberg) -- Richard Tang, the head of North America sales at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s securities arm, is leaving the bank for hedge fund Element Capital Management LLC as the lender retrenches in capital markets, according to two people with knowledge of the move.

Tang, who has spent almost two decades at the bank, is one of 16 members of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee that the U.S. government consults with on its debt sales. His departure was confirmed by Sarah Lukashok, a Stamford, Connecticut-based spokeswoman for Britain’s largest state-owned lender. He will be joining New York-based Element Capital, which manages about $4.3 billion in its macro fund, said the people, who asked not to be named because the move wasn’t public.

Tang didn’t return messages left at his office at RBS, and telephone calls to numbers listed for his home and mobile phones. Elemental Capital founder and Chief Investment Officer Jeffrey Talpins didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

Tang is the latest in a series of executives leaving RBS as it scales back its investment-banking business. Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan, 57, who took over in October, has set up an internal bad bank, combining divisions and scaling back its RBS Securities arm as he strives to shore up earnings after the lender last year reported its biggest annual loss since 2008.

Job Cuts

Its shares surged the most in more than four years on July 25 after the company said first-half profit almost doubled. The bank rose 2.5 percent to 362.9 pence ($6.13) in London today.

The U.K. government owns 80 percent of the bank after its bailout during the global financial crisis.

The company said in May it planned to cut hundreds of U.S. jobs within the next 12 to 18 months, with the reductions affecting employees in its mortgage securities and special situations groups.

The bank’s loss of staff is proving a boon to investment firms and rivals. Jon Weiss, the former global head of the special situations group, is joining Candlewood Investment Group LP, a person with knowledge of the matter said this month. Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group said this month it had hired Jeffrey DiModica, RBS’s head of mortgage and asset-backed sales and strategy.

Tang joined RBS predecessor Greenwich Capital Markets in 1995, according to regulatory records.

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