Barclays Restructuring Banker Said to Join KKR’s Pillarstone

  • Jonathan Conway said to join Pillarstone banking advisory unit
  • Pillarstone started in 2015 by KKR and ex-RBS banker Davison

Jonathan Conway, Barclays Plc’s head of credit restructuring in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has left to join private-equity firm KKR & Co.’s Pillarstone business, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Conway, who managed a team of 12 specialists for the British investment bank, joined Pillarstone in London as a partner on June 16, said the person, who asked not to be named because the move hasn’t been made public yet. He will help to expand the company, which was started last year to advise banks in managing their non-core and underperforming assets, said the person.

Private-equity firms such as KKR, which was founded by billionaires Henry Kravis and George Roberts, have expanded into new businesses like lending and advisory over the last decade as some banks pulled back. European lenders, including Conway’s previous firm, are pushing to dispose of unwanted assets to boost profitability and capital to satisfy regulatory demands.

Pillarstone was started by KKR and John Davison, the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s strategic investment group, in 2015 to advise European lenders and to provide capital to the businesses underpinning non-performing loans. The firm said last month it was looking to expand across Europe after starting work with Greek lenders Alpha Bank AE and Eurobank Ergasias SA and Italian firms UniCredit SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA.

European lenders had about 1.9 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion) of unwanted or underperforming assets on their balance sheets, KKR said in September when it announced Davison’s joining Pillarstone. At Barclays, Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley is seeking to accelerate the rundown of its more than 50 billion pounds ($73 billion) of risk-weighted assets in non-core operations, selling unwanted businesses across Europe.

Conway has worked at Barclays since at least 1998, holding roles in commercial real estate and infrastructure, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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