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H M Treasury: New Chief Executive of Asset Protection Agency

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New Chief Executive – Asset Protection Agency

absract 5 sardiniaHM Treasury today announces the appointment of Stephan Wilcke as Chief Executive of the Asset Protection Agency (APA) with effect from 28 September 2009. Stephan Wilcke joins from credit asset manager Cairn Capital where he was a senior advisor, having previously held partnership positions at private equity firm Apax Partners and financial services consultancy Oliver Wyman. He will be taking over from Jeremy Bennett who has been integrally involved with HM Treasury in the creation of the Asset Protection Scheme and who had agreed to act as Chief Executive up to the point of the establishment of the Agency. Source: H M Treasury

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Telegraph.co.uk: Asset Protection Agency hires 'Grey panther'. One of the City regulator's coterie of "grey panther" advisers has been placed in charge of the government agency being set up to insure almost £600bn of toxic bank assets. Jeremy Bennett, a former banker at Credit Suisse, has been appointed as interim chief executive of the Asset Protection Agency (APA), the establishment of which is to form a central plank of the Government's response to the global banking crisis. Mr Bennett was appointed a senior adviser to the Financial Services Authority's wholesale and institutional business unit in June last year. He is among a number of former bankers used by the FSA to help monitor City institutions, and are referred to as "grey panthers" since John Tiner, the regulator's former chief executive, coined the phrase in 2001.

The Scotsman: Chief heads east as HSBC refocuses on China. HSBC's chief executive is to relocate from the UK to Hong Kong to reflect the East's position as the world's new "centre of economic gravity", the bank said yesterday. Michael Geoghegan will be based in Hong Kong from 1 February, although the company stressed that it would stay in London for tax purposes, had no plans to move and the Financial Services Authority would remain its regulator. In a second high-profile banking development, the Treasury yesterday confirmed the appointment of Stephan Wilcke as chief executive of the government's Asset Protection Agency, which oversees the £585 billion toxic asset insurance scheme.

Hargreaves Lansdown: Reflecting on the markets. In the UK, some unanimity was restored to the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Governor King and David Miles both voted to maintain the current level of Quantitative Easing (QE) at £175 billion (approximately 13% of UK GDP) as opposed to their August vote of an increase to £200m. The minutes came to light in a week when fellow MPC member Spencer Dale highlighted his concerns regarding QE creating further asset bubbles. On the corporate front, banks stayed in the limelight with rumours that RBS was probing investors with regards to launching a fund raising exercise, in addition to similar speculation surrounding Lloyds Banking Group. With recovery across credit and equity markets having been enjoyed since March, suddenly the terms of the UK government's Asset Protection Scheme appear less attractive.

NY Times: Toxic Asset Scheme Head Named. The government has appointed private equity executive Stephan Wilcke to head its Asset Protection Agency, the body designed to oversees its proposed insurance scheme for banks' toxic assets, the Treasury said on Friday. Wilcke joins from credit asset manager Cairn Capital and was formerly a partner at private equity firm Apax Partners and financial services consultancy Oliver Wyman. He starts on Monday as the APA's first permanent chief executive, replacing temporary appointee Jeremy Bennett, a Treasury official. The APA oversees the Asset Protection Scheme, which in return for a premium is due to insure 585 billion pounds of risky assets held by RBS <RBS.L> and Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>. Final terms of the scheme have yet to be agreed.

EuroWeekEuroweek.com: RBS talks to shareholders on 4bn deal to defray APS costs. Royal Bank of Scotland is sounding out investors about an up-to-4bn capital increase that would allow it to pay some of the costs of joining the UK government's asset protection scheme without further diluting shareholders...

ft.com/alphaville: UK appoints ‘enforcer’ for bank scheme. UK Treasurer Alistair Darling will on Friday appoint a Treasury “enforcer” to oversee the biggest and perhaps riskiest deal the government has signed: the £585bn toxic asset insurance scheme. Stephan Wilcke, a former management consultant and private equity boss, will lead a team of up to 50 staff to enforce the insurance contract and monitor how Britain’s part-nationalised banks manage their impaired loans. He is set to start on Monday as chief executive of the Asset Protection Agency.

SEEKING ALPHA

seekingalpha.com: Lloyds Banking Group Just May Be Able to Exit Bank Bailout. The prospect for Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) escaping the UK Goverment’s bank bailout scheme have gotten a boost from a new research report on the UK banking sector from Execution analyst Joseph Dickerson. The Independent reports that Dickerson issued a “buy” recommendation on Lloyds, arguing that the bank would be better off without the asset protection scheme (APS), which he said was a “sub-optimal way to recapitalise the sector and should be reconsidered”. He hopes that the group opts for a rights issue instead, suggesting that “banks with substantial government ownership have a higher cost of capital than those that do not”. Reduced funding costs would benefit the net interest margin, which in turn would boost earnings, Mr Dickerson explained. “Lloyds has an opportunity to change this by not participating at all,” he said. “£15bn of net (we forecast £16bn including a £1bn termination fee to [the Treasury]) non-Government capital is likely to reduce Lloyds’s cost of funding substantially.” For those worried about whether Lloyds could raise the amount required, he added that a “£16bn capital raise is not a big ask because, if [the Treasury] takes up its rights, the amount of capital needed from the market is [around] £9bn”.

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