Ex-Coutts marketing head resurfaces at consultancy

Ian Ewart, who played a significant role in the international expansion of Coutts under its former chief executive Rory Tapner before stepping down in February 2015, has become a non-executive director at Anchura Partners.

Brian Dean, chief people officer at Anchura, confirmed Ewart’s appointment as a non-executive director, saying: “We are looking forward to his input.”

Ewart confirmed his appointment on his LinkedIn page but did not respond to requests for further comment. People who know Ewart expect him to develop a portfolio of interests.

Coutts, which is renowned as the Queen’s bank, is part of RBS‘s private banking business. In an interim results statement on August 5, RBS said the division’s operating profits rebounded to £51 million in the first half to the end of June, against £8 million in same period in 2015, when the division suffered an intangible asset write down of £82 million.

But adjusted operating profits, excluding restructuring, litigation and other such costs as well as the effects of movement’s in RBS’s own credit spreads, fell £16 million to £73 million.

The division’s ratio of costs to adjusted income rose to 77%, against 74% the year before.

Since Ewart’s departure, RBS has presided over retrenchment at Coutts, and the sale of its international business to Union Bancaire Privée of Switzerland.

In the results statement, RBS said of private banking: “The cost base is being managed while absorbing charges previously borne by the international business as well as absorbing an increase in investment spend. Simplification of the private banking UK operating model is under way.”

RBS said it was confident that it could turn Coutts into “the leading UK-based private bank and wealth manager”.

Anchura Partners was founded in 2010 by Paul Ford, former ultra-high net worth chief operating officer at Barclays Wealth, where Ewart led marketing and communications before his move to Coutts in March 2011.

Anchura chief executive Keith Wilson used to head product development at Coutts and also held senior positions at Barclays and Citigroup. Managing partner Ian Davis previously served as chief operating officer at Aviva Investors, while client partner Rash Phullar was previously head of strategy implementation and global equities chief operating officer at RBS.

Anchura provides hands-on operational expertise to investment banks, wealth managers and asset managers coping with headwinds and strategy changes.

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