O’Neil, who joined U.K. Financial Investments Ltd. three years ago and was named chief executive officer a year ago, will move to the investment bank in London in the autumn and work alongside Bill Egan, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender said in a statement today. O’Neil, 46, had worked at Bank of America for 17 years before joining UKFI and is a former head of corporate finance in Europe.
He moves as the U.K. government prepares to sell its stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group Plc. (LLOY) The government is pressing both banks to sell more assets and bolster capital as it tries to recoup some of its investments in the lenders. Shares of both lenders are trading for less than the price the government paid for its holdings when it bailed them out after the financial crisis of 2008.
“Jim’s depth of expertise in banking and financial markets has been crucial for UKFI during a period that has included eurozone crises and the formulation of major regulatory changes for U.K. banks,” U.K. Financial Investments Chairman Robin Budenberg said in a separate statement. UKFI plans to recruit a successor for O’Neil.
Bank of America has been overhauling its investment-banking team in Europe following the departures of Andrea Orcel as chairman of global banking and markets and Jonathan Moulds, the firm’s president of Europe last year.
The firm has hired Alex Wilmot-Sitwell from UBS AG (UBSN) as president of its European division and Diego De Giorgi, chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment-banking division, as joint head of global corporate and investment banking for Europe. It also hired former Goldman Sachs banker Luigi Rizzo to become head of mergers and acquisitions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa this month.
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