The restructuring of much of US wealth management is resulting
in a steadily lengthening list of casualties among top private

Peter Scaturro is leaving as head of global wealth management at
Goldman Sachs, after only 18 months in the role. At the same time,
Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, head of Bank of America’s blue chip
private client unit, US Trust, has left.

These latest executive casualties follow the departure of Sallie
Krawcheck, head of Citigroup’s global wealth operations, after
fundamental disagreements on strategy with Citi CEO Vikram Pandit
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A similar theme runs through these varied executive changes –
the consolidation now taking place within hard-pressed American
banking, causing many executives to become surplus to requirements,
as well as the introduction of new business models with tough
targets to recognise the plunge in markets and business volumes,
say Wall Street bankers.

Scaturro, who started his executive career with Citigroup, had
been chief executive of US Trust until 2007 when he resigned in
protest at the way that Bank of America (BofA), which bought the
company from brokerage Charles Schwab for $3.3 billion, was
integrating it into the BofA wealth operations. At the time,
associates said Scaturro was angered by the way that high-end
clients of US Trust were being poorly treated by BofA, which
included them being charged for use of BofA’s ATM machines.

Although Scaturro’s departure has been confirmed by Goldman
officials, no reason has been provided and there is as yet no word
on a successor. Christopher French remains head of Goldman’s
international wealth division out of London following the
resignation of his co-head Doug Grip several months ago.

Goldman has seen other departures in London, including
high-flying Pernille Dupont Jensen, who has held several senior
positions including co-head of Europe, Middle East and Africa and
head of UK.

Sevilla-Sacasa has similarly fallen victim to restructuring as
Bank of America works to integrate its $50 billion acquisition of
Merrill Lynch.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Sevilla-Sacasa is leaving to form a
wealth management unit at investment bank Evercore Partners Inc.,
joining Jeff Maurer, chief executive of US Trust until 2003, who
will head the new venture. Boutique Evercore is targeting clients
with $5 million in investable assets.

Maurer said the wealth management unit will provide personalised
service to clients and provide “advice and services not compromised
by conflicts of interest”.

In its annual report on recruiting trends, executive search firm
Russell Reynolds found firms in all sectors of the wealth industry
are rethinking their competitive positioning and developing new
strategies and products at a time of the deepest cuts the industry
has yet witnessed.

“The financial crisis has put the spotlight on leadership,”
Cornelia Kiley, a managing director at the firm declared. “Boards
are looking for visionary leaders who can re-energise their teams,
restore the confidence of their clients and shareholders, and lay
the groundwork for future growth.”