WestLB lures Bassett for top London post

German investment bank WestLB has brought in Richard Bassett - an ex-Smithfield and Brunswick executive - as its head of corporate comms in London.

Bassett, who joins from his own consultancy Norfolk Financial, replaces John Godfrey, who left last autumn to join FTSE 100 insurer Legal & General (PRWeek, 29 Sept 2006).

Bassett is to be responsible for co-ordinating comms in London, Milan, Paris and Madrid. His brief is to position the bank in the ‘Anglo-Saxon' media.

He said he had been running Norfolk Financial for more than three years. Previously he worked for Smithfield in London and Germany, and he was also responsible for setting up Brunswick's first German office in Frankfurt.

At WestLB he reports to Dusseldorf-based global head of communications Hans Obermeier.

Godfrey left to take charge of L&G's comms function in September, replacing Neville Walton (PRWeek, 28 Sep 2006).

WestLB is one of Germany's publicly owned Landesbanken, which are facing pressure to restructure after the removal of state guarantees in 2005.

The removal of the guarantees followed a long battle with the European Commission over complaints from Germany's private banks that the state institutions had an unfair advantage.

WestLB was ranked 404th in Fortune's Global 500 list of the world's biggest companies last year.

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