Tookey’s departure makes him the third executive to fall by the wayside during chief executive during Horta-Osório’s seven-month tenure, completing a clean-out of the executive board that was in place before his arrival.
Although the search has nearly six months to run until Tookey leaves, recruiters in the field have suggested that the bank could try to wrestle a CFO away from a rival, such as Barclays’ Chris Lucas or Standard Chartered’s Richard Meddings.
Others have praised Close Brothers’ Jonathan Howell: “He has FTSE 100 credibility and Close has been a phenomenal story,” said one source.
Alternatively, chief executive António Horta-Osório could stay true to form and promote a close lieutenant, with head of wholesale Nathan Bostock’s name already in the frame. Bostock worked with Horta-Osório at Santander UK and was poached back from RBS by his former boss in July.
Yesterday Tookey denied reports that his decision was the result of any argument with Horta-Osório, who has remodelled the bank’s entire top team since taking the reins in March.
“There’s been absolutely no disagreement on strategy between António and I,” he said. “I’ve greatly enjoyed developing the strategy with António, bringing it to the market at the end of June and being part of the team that’s now focused on delivering it.”
The bank will also be on the lookout for a new non-executive after announcing that deputy chairman Lord Leitch is leaving “due to increasing time pressure from his other... commitments”.
Since March, Horta-Osório has aggressively rearranged his management team, promoting David Nicholson to head of Halifax and John Maltby to lead Lloyds’ commercial division.
HORTA-OSÓRIO CLEARS THE DECKS
Kane, former executive director of insurance, retired from the bank in March, just after Horta-Osório took the reins.
Truett Tate was shifted out of his executive board position as head of wholesale and made vice-chairman, a non-exec board role.
Weir opted to leave the bank in March when her role as head of retail was changed. She was replaced by Alison Brittain, a Santander UK exec.
Sandy Leitch quit his non-executive board role yesterday. He will also step down as chairman of Scottish Widows but will stay as an adviser.