For super funds and their advisers

Big departures in custody world

•2-Main-David Braga

BNP Paribas is to lose its head of securities services for Australia and New Zealand and State Street is losing three senior executives in unrelated developments which emerged last week.

David Braga, the chief executive of BNP Paribas Securities Services, Australasia, has resigned and will leave the organisation at Christmas. He is currently continuing at the firm to “ensure a smooth transition”, according to a spokesperson.

David Banks, a long-standing custody operative and currently the COO, has been appointed acting head of securities services for an interim period while a search for Braga’s replacement is undertaken. Banks spent nearly 30 years at RBC Investor & Treasury Services before joining BNP Paribas in 2019.

Meanwhile, down the street and around the corner in Sydney, Sinclair Scholfield resigned as head of ‘Alpha’ sales for APAC. He is on ‘gardening leave’ and is expected to announce a new position elsewhere in the first quarter next year. He has been at State Street since 2003, starting in Boston head office as a program manager for wealth management, before moving to London with the firm and then home to Sydney as head of securities finance for the region.

Sinclair Scholfield

‘Alpha’ is State Street’s version of a front-to-back systems offering which has proved transformative for the business.

Daniel Cheever, the head of institutional services for Australia, will leave the firm after 23 years following his position being dissolved in a recent restructure. State Street had hoped to redeploy him elsewhere within the firm but he decided to pursue other opportunities.

As previously reported, the restructure included the appointment of Tim Helyar from J.P. Morgan to the new position of country head for Australia to fit in with the firm’s global trend for more localised responsibilities.

Scholfield said that his decision to resign was coincidental with Helyar’s appointment. “I received a good offer and thought it was time to move on,” he said last week. He was unable to reveal whether he would remain in the securities services part of the industry, he said.

The third senior departure is that of Michael Brager, who has decided to retire back on the central coast of NSW after 30 years at State Street. Brager had been a crucial part of the firm’s development at an operational level throughout the region.

A spokesperson said: “Michael’s contribution to State Street was significant and instrumental in the growth and success of our operations hubs in Hangzhou and India. In addition to completing assignments in Boston, Hong Kong and India, Michael has held various senior positions including Chief Operating Officer for Global Delivery in Asia, and head of Australia.”

According to the statement, the new structure under Helyar will bring all local teams in Australia together to represent the entire State Street business, including investment servicing, investment research and trading, State Street AlphaSM, as well as data management and analytics. “Tim will also have an oversight of Charles River Development, a critical component of State Street Alpha,” the firm said.

At BNP Paribas, a spokesperson said in a statement: “During his tenure, [Braga] has overseen the growth of the securities services business and particularly the bank’s growing market share in New Zealand and local custody and clearing markets.  We would like to thank David for his contribution and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Braga spent 14 years at J.P. Morgan, including as a managing director, before joining BNP Paribas in 2015 as chief executive for securities services. He started in the sector at the former Bankers Trust in 1990, where he rose to vice president.

Bankers Trust, along with several other managers, took on outside clients for their big back office operations during that period. They subsequently exited the space before or soon after the turn of the century.

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