Robin Saunders, WestLB's star principal finance banker, is off. The move will surprise no-one. She will officially leave the bank at the end of the year and is said to be taking a deferred bonus of up to £1m with her when she goes.
Negotiations between the two parties were described as 'cordial'. Ms Saunders said: 'I believe there are many excellent opportunities out there and in the light of WestLB's decision to change its strategic focus, I have decided to pursue my career elsewhere'. The banker is thought to have had discussions with a number of potential backers with a view to setting up on her own next year.
Ms Saunders has an impressive deal record, which includes raising the finance for the new Wembley Stadium, helping rescue Formula One guru Bernie Eccelestone and bankrolling Philip Green when he bid for Bhs. WestLB lost its appetite for her business when the bank ran into trouble last year. One of Ms Saunders' deals, with TV rental company Boxclever, has resulted in a bad debt provision of around £500m.