WestLB loses London comms chief to L&G

German investment bank WestLB is on the hunt for a London-based head of comms after John Godfrey resigned to join FTSE 100 insurer Legal & General.

The bank is understood to be looking for a like-for-like replacement for Godfrey - currently chairman of the CIPR's Corporate and Financial Practice Group - to fill the executive director position. He leaves WestLB at the end of this week and joins L&G as group comms director on Monday.

Godfrey - who before WestLB was head of European corporate comms at Lehman Brothers for five years - said he had worked in investment banking for 20 years and was keen to ‘see a different side of the industry'.

His WestLB comms role covers the UK, France, Spain and Italy. The position reports to group head of comms Hans Obermeier, who is based at Dusseldorf HQ.

WestLB is one of Germany's publicly owned Landesbanken, which are facing pressure to restructure after the removal of state guarantees last year.

At L&G, Godfrey will take charge of an 11-strong group comms function that includes media relations director John Morgan and head of investor relations Jonathan Maddock.

He reports to group finance director Andrew Palmer, and replaces Neville Walton, who died in March after 17 years with L&G.

L&G's operating profits rose 43 per cent last year to £1.09bn, and strong demand for savings products this year has further boosted group performance.

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