Director, London office ● The Bank of New York Mellon
Julian Tregoning has an encyclopedic black book, if not in the volume then at least in the scope of its entries.
A director of the BNY Mellon London office, Tregoning has a comprehensive network of associates one would expect from the European ambassador of the largest global custodian. With his daily tasks involving anything from meeting with prospective clients to overseeing marketing efforts to speaking at conferences, he rarely strays from the social aspect of his job. “What I really enjoy is working with people,” he says coolly. “I get a kick out of dealing with clients and prospects.” A true people-person and a self-described “collegiate” individual, it is that network that he loves about his role.
But the irony is that he never went to university: His expertise comes from four decades of experience in the banking industry, not from a classroom. While Tregoning has a wide background in financial services, much of it in executive roles, that wasn’t always his plan. If it weren’t for a freak skiing accident on the Hahnenkamm mountain’s World Cup run in Kitzbuhel, Austria, while he was attending the Britannia Royal Navy College Dartmouth, this would be the profile of a naval officer rather than a bank executive. When a crushed ankle rendered him unable to continue in the Royal Navy, he left the training college and turned instead to financial services. A “moot point” now, he has never looked back.
After BRNC Dartmouth, he joined Save & Prosper Group Ltd (S&P) in 1968; he later became director of the investments, pension and life assurance provider from 1985-95. He moved to Robert Fleming & Co. Ltd, the asset management company, in 1995, where he stayed for several years as a director overseeing its Latin American business. Following surgery on the decades-old ankle injury in the late-1990s, and a subsequent recovery period, he was recruited by Mellon Financial to help expand its business in the UK and Europe.
The “legacy Mellon man” recalls fondly the firm’s merger with The Bank of New York in summer 2007. “It was an incredibly well-kept secret,” he says of the merger. “Very few people knew until literally the last 36 hours, which I think was stunningly clever.” He was not one of those few people, although the colossal merger meant an expanded network and new client aspects for Tregoning.
There is hardly a more suitable person for his job. With more than 40 years in the business under his belt, his career has spanned decimalization in the UK in 1971, the Big Bang in 1986, and the credit crisis of the last few years. He helped set up a UCITS-style fund in Luxembourg way before they were in vogue. He administered S&P’s international business from Jersey, where he spent 5 years as an “early driver in developing offshore funds”; he was only 29 when he started that job. He ran the group’s money and fixed income department during the interest rate rise through the 1970s, and through the massive inflation that followed. By then, he was just getting started. By the time he joined Mellon at the start of last decade, Tregoning was well versed in the gamut of financial services because, well, he’d virtually done it all already.
“Have I planned my career meticulously? No. Have I taken opportunities? Probably. Have I taken every opportunity? No, I missed some,” he says. But the moral is this: “I’ve enjoyed life-yes, be a decision-maker, a master of the universe, but at least have fun.”-Christopher Gohlke