Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) Dan Williams has resurfaced at UBS as the bank’s general counsel (GC) for wealth management in Asia Pacific (APAC) and overall GC for the region.
Williams, who started the role at the end of March, reports to 2016 Legal Business Powerlist member Maria Leistner (pictured) who is global GC for the international wealth management division and will sit on Leistner’s management committee. In his Asia Pacific oversight role, Williams reports to UBS group GC Markus Diethelm and UBS APAC president Kathryn Shih.
Having worked as an in-house lawyer for financial institutions for more than 17 years, Williams joined RBS in April 2008 as GC for equities from ABN Amro after RBS took over ABN in 2007. He held five different positions within RBS, including GC for Asia Pacific and Markets UK/EMEA and head of corporate & institutional banking (CIB).
According to UBS, Williams has a ‘wide-ranging knowledge of products and the APAC region in general and has been heavily involved in managing a number of extensive regulatory investigations’ as well as a ‘proven track record of managing large teams.’
Williams’ departure came in January following RBS kicking off a review of is 400-strong legal team in July 2016 as a way of controlling costs and driving efficiency. The bank did not replace Williams, instead appointing RBS’ GC for the Americas James Esposito to take on a combined role, incorporating the CIB remit which Williams held.
At RBS, Williams succeeds Frances Wong, who was previously the GC representative for the APAC region. Wong continues in her role as the Hong Kong GC as well as continuing as a senior lawyer in the APAC region.
Also in 2016, the bank appointed former Barclays’ deputy group GC Michael Shaw as its group GC after John Collins resigned only 11 months into the job to join Santander UK.
RBS has also seen a host of senior legal departures in the last few years, with deputy GC Rushad Abadan having joined insurer Standard Life as its GC at the start of 2016. The British banking giant also lost its EMEA head of financial crime, Carolina Garces-Monterrubio, to HSBC at the start of 2015.