RBC poaches BNY Mellon markets chief to lead FICC in the US

Highly regarded market structure expert to join RBC from BNY Mellon.

By Jonathan Watkins

BNY Mellon’s chief executive officer of their markets unit is set to take up a new role as head of US fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) at Royal Bank of Canada, Global Custodian has learnt.

In a major coup for the Canadian bank, highly regarded market structure expert Michelle Neal will join in New York after three and a half years at BNY Mellon.

Prior to her most recent role, Neal held a number of senior market structure positions at Deutsche Bank, Nomura/Instinet, RBS and Goldman Sachs during her 20-year career. 

According to an internal memo seen by Global Custodian, Neal will join up with RBC at the beginning of June.

Neal has also been widely recognised for her innovation and leadership in market structure, technology and electronic trading through a number of awards and nominations along with her coveted roles at some of the market’s largest institutions.

In 2018, Neal was nominated for Global Custodian’s Industry Person of the Year, following what we described at the time as work that was “re-defining the client experience and value proposition”.

Neal had focused on initiatives involving front-to-back business transformation, and was closely involved with the launch of BNY Mellon’s FX prime brokerage service.

Similarly, in the securities finance business, she fostered the creation of DBVX, BNY Mellon’s peer-to-peer cash and collateral marketplace.

Neal has also received several other industry accolades, including being recognised as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance by American Banker in 2017 and 2018, and one of the 100 Most Influential Women in European Banking by Financial News in 2013 and 2014.

RBC said in the memo that Neal will be responsible for providing strategic leadership to its US FICC business in partnership with its global product, sales and regional heads.

Neal will have oversight for all strategic and execution-related aspects of the FICC business, and will sit on the Global Markets Operating Committee, FICC Leadership and US Regional Operating Committee.

At RBC, Neal will report into Jonathan Hunter, the bank’s global head of FICC.

“Michelle has a demonstrated track record in leadership and building scale businesses, with extensive experience in market structure, technology and electronic trading,” Hunter said in the memo.

“She has proven her ability to drive synergies and revenues between adjacent businesses, and to transform trading platforms to capture greater market share. Her skill set will be instrumental in helping drive the continued evolution of our overall platform, particularly in the US where there is a significant opportunity for growth.”

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