Ex-McKinsey Partner Charlie Nunn new CEO of Lloyds

14 December 2020 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Lloyds Banking Group has hired the HSBC banker Charlie Nunn as its new Chief Executive Officer. Nunn, who is a former McKinsey & Company Partner, replaces long-serving boss António Horta-Osório, who exits the position after a decade.

The banking sector faces financial headwinds from the global pandemic, as well as the continued uncertainties surrounding negative interest rates and the impact of Brexit. As Lloyds Banking Group looks to prepare for the coming challenges of 2021, it has overseen the succession of its new Chief Executive Officer to help carry the firm forward.

António Horta-Osório is set to leave Lloyds in June 2021, after almost a decade at the helm. Having joined in 2011, his impending departure was announced this summer, alongside the appointment of former government advisor Robin Budenberg as Chairman to replace Lord Blackwell. Stepping into Horta-Osório’s shoes is Charlie Nunn – Nunn, who is currently the head of HSBC's high street banking division. He is set to take over once he finds an agreement over the date of his departure with HSBC.

Charlie Nunn, CEO, Lloyds

Commenting on the arrival, Chairman Budenberg said, “I am excited about Charlie's vision for Lloyds Banking Group, as well as his passion for and commitment to our purpose of helping Britain prosper. Given his career track record, he will bring world-class operational, technology and strategic expertise to build on the strengths of the existing management team. I look forward to welcoming him to the group.”

Having arrived at the bank in 2011, Nunn was appointed as Chief Executive of HSBC’s Wealth and Personal Banking arm in February 2020, following a management reshuffle by boss Noel Quinn. Prior to his time with HSBC, Nunn also spent 12 years with Accenture in the US, France, Switzerland and the UK, before joining strategy consulting giant McKinsey & Company in 2006. Throughout his five-year stay with the firm, Nunn was a Senior Partner.

Speaking on his new challenge, Nunn remarked, “I feel particularly lucky to be joining Lloyds Banking Group at this important time. Lloyds' history, exceptional people and leading position in the UK means it is uniquely placed to define the future of exceptional customer service in UK financial services. I look forward to building on the work of Antonio and the team and their commitment to helping Britain prosper.”

The appointment of Charlie Nunn as the next CEO of Lloyds is yet another feather in the cap of McKinsey, which already boasts a string of financial sector bosses among their alumni. Former McKinsey Partner Jane Fraser has been named the incoming CEO of Citigroup, andwill become the first woman to head up a major Wall Street bank when she takes over from Michael Corbat in February.

James Gorman, current Chair and CEO of Morgan Stanley, is also a Wall Street bank boss with McKinsey experience – having advised major financial institutions at McKinsey during the 1990s. Meanwhile, Tidjane Thiam spent the last five years as the CEO of Credit Suisse before exiting earlier in 2020, having spent 10 years with McKinsey. Ex-Standard Chartered CEO Peter Sands and former UBS Group CEO Peter Wuffli are further examples of McKinsey alumni rising to the top of the banking sector. 

With banks expecting to be asked tough questions over the coming months, it is perhaps not surprising that McKinsey partners are in vogue. Problems exacerbated or created by the Covid-19 crisis, profits slumping in the face of low interest rates and an increasing need to embrace technology are issues which many organisations would turn to a consultant for help with – so hiring a CEO with a background in that line of work makes business sense.

Speaking to business news site WorkSydney, one anonymous McKinsey Senior Partner summarised the situation, saying, “It’s clear that whatever was working for the banks before is not working for them now, and will not in the future… You need people who cannot just develop a strategy for transformation, but see it through and not let the focus slip from quarter to quarter. Banks boards undoubtedly prefer that sort of experience.”