Lloyds hires FTI financial services chief and adds agency to roster

Lloyds Banking Group has appointed FTI Consulting global head of financial services Andrew Walton as its new corporate affairs director - with FTI simultaneously added to Lloyds' agency roster.

The position at the UK’s second-biggest bank encompasses internal and external comms, media engagement, reputation management and public affairs, with Walton (pictured) set to join the executive committee and report directly to CEO António Horta-Osório.

Since Matt Young departed as corporate affairs director last year, the responsibilities have been overseen by chief of staff Janet Pope and split between her and comms director Fiona Laffan until the latter’s departure earlier this year.

Walton's appointment coincides with FTI being added to the bank's agency roster to advise on strategic comms. Walton will be advising the bank as a consultant until he joins as an employee on 1 December.

Pope will keep her existing responsibilities until then, although she has been given an additional remit as group-wide champion for LGBT and will also develop the bank’s retail shareholder proposition.

An internal memo from Horta-Osório, seen by PRWeek, says: "I am grateful to Janet for her stewardship and oversight of the [group corporate affairs] function over the past year, and for the excellent work she has done on restructuring the division and building our work on reputation.

"I am very excited about the arrival of Andrew and the further expansion of Janet’s role. These changes will, I believe, strengthen the group’s executive capability as we seek to deliver the next stage of our strategic plan."

FTI Consulting is not employing a direct replacement for Walton, who leads the agency’s global financial service practice, which employs around 50 people. Instead senior MD Neil Doyle, who has been at FTI for more than seven years, becomes head of the c.30-strong UK financial services team.

Walton joined FTI in 2005 from Morgan Stanley, where he was vice-president of corporate communications.

Mark McCall, FTI global head of Strategic Communications, praised Walton's "immense impact on our firm" in a memo to employees.

"During his 13-year tenure here, he has been at the center of some of the firm’s largest transactions (advising on well over $150bn of M&A and $100bn of capital raisings) and global client accounts (including HSBC, UBS, BlackRock, the Spanish Government, Japanese insurers, as well as Australian, Irish, Chinese and Icelandic banks).

"Since 2007, he has admirably led our financial services team globally and worked with others to develop one of our pre-eminent and best recognised industry specialisations. As part of this, he has built a strong team around the world who are ready to carry the torch forward."

Walton said: "Whilst it will be a great wrench to leave FTI, really big corporate affairs jobs like this don’t come up very often. I’ve worked with banks all my career, and an institution like Lloyds brings together all elements of communications, from public affairs and regulatory engagement to media relations, reputation and brand positioning.

"It’s an amazing business, with a great recovery story under Antonio’s leadership, and I’m honoured to be joining the team."

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