Legal Business Blogs

Compliance drive – BLP’s financial services partner joins Barclays investment arm as EMEA head

As leading retail and investment banks bolster their internal compliance functions it has emerged that Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) financial services partner Nick Kynoch has joined Barclays Investment Bank as the head of regulatory compliance for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The hire comes after Hector Sants, former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, joined Barclays in December to the newly-created role of head of compliance and government and regulatory relations, overseeing all compliance activities across Barclays, meaning for the first time all compliance staff within the bank report to one individual and operate independently of business and regional management teams.

The status of compliance teams has been elevated within major banks in the wake of a number of scandals including Libor-rigging and mis-selling of payment protection insurance, in which Barclays has been implicated.

Barclays’ careers page says: ‘A career in compliance today is particularly interesting and high profile given the scale of regulatory change facing in the financial services industry and challenging economic conditions. We face tougher and more intrusive regulatory conditions than ever before.’

In April, Deutsche Bank, which has also faced allegations over Libor-rigging, announced the appointment of Clifford Chance partner Daniela Weber-Rey as chief governance officer and deputy global head compliance in its Frankfurt office.

Kynoch, whose clients included Bank of New York Mellon and Northern Trust, joined BLP from Mayer Brown in 2011 during a period when the firm was building its financial services and markets group through a series of lateral hires. In the same year, BLP hired DLA Piper’s former financial services head Daren Allen and former Pinsent Masons regulatory partner Jacob Ghanty, both of whom remain at the firm.

Kynoch left BLP in April, meaning his departure pre-dates that of private equity head Raymond McKeeve, who, it emerged last week, is leaving to join Jones Day in London. Other high profile lateral hires to have left the firm this year include leveraged finance partner Andrew Bamber, who joined from Allen & Overy in 2009 and corporate partner Patrick Somers who joined from Hammonds in 2005.

BLP’s financial services team is highly regarded, led by rated partner Sidney Myers.

This latest departure comes after the firm reported a drop in revenue of 5% down to £233m with profit per equity partner understood to be down by at least 35% to £430,000.

A spokesperson for BLP said the firm had no comment to make on the departure other than to wish Kynoch well.