Diary of a Private Banker: Ex-Coutts, UBS star 'heir apparent' to Deutsche’s Michael Morley

Freddie Pooter, 23/10/2020

James Whittaker, one of the power players in the UK ultra-high net worth sector started his new job at Deutsche Bank this month, sparking gossip among chums about the likely future management hierarchy at its private banking arm in London.

He becomes head of UK coverage at Deutsche’s international private bank. He will also sit on the board of Deutsche Bank UK.

The banker started his career at Coutts and went on to UBS, where he spent some 14 years. He was latterly in charge of UHNW coverage for the Swiss bank.

This heavyweight has brought Alexis Pateras, an executive director from UBS, with him to Deutsche, I understand.

The hire leaves uncertainty about the future of Raffaello Nemni, who joined from HSBC in 2018 as head of UK client coverage.

Michael Morley: Er spricht Deutsch

There must be no uncertainty, however, about the future of masterful Michael Morley, the head of wealth management UK at Deutsche. Michael, former chief of Coutts & Co, joined Deutsche in 2017. He brought much-needed stability in London to the somewhat wayward Deutsche Wealth, as the parent endlessly dithers about its strategic banking lebensraum.

Even if he hands over to James sometime in the future, chums think Michael should then consider a move to the Deutsche HQ in Frankfurt to do a similar job of clear thinking.

Michael has all the talents to succeed in Frankfurt, including fluent German while, as a keen pianist, he plays Bach’s Goldberg Variations beautifully. He rarely plays Air on a G String, thankfully.

No doubt we will hear more about Michael (e.g. ‘Surely, if you want a job done right, then send for Morley’).

Words of wisdom from Waverton’s Nick Tucker

When one of our most experienced private bankers, Nick Tucker, occasionally speaks his mind, I always listen carefully at his pearls of wisdom. For he is surely the nearest thing we have in private banking to Confucius.

The sage nowadays heads Waverton, after senior roles at UBS and Merrill Lynch, and notching up nearly 30 years in the City.

Nick says that the job at Waverton, probably his last in the business, had to be a special one while he thought about joining the boutique or other career options.

“I wanted to have total control, I didn’t want to have a headquarters in, say, New York or Switzerland, where you have different agendas that aren’t aligned with British clients,” he says.

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