Asia wealth industry veteran Peter Flavel is leaving his role as deputy chief executive for Asia Pacific at JP Morgan Private Bank to become CEO of Coutts and Adam & Co, the private wealth arms of Royal Bank of Scotland. He will leave the UK bank at the end of this month and relocate to London from Singapore for the new post.

The Australian's appointment comes at a time of significant change for Coutts, which is selling its international arm to Swiss group UBP. This reflects a trend of repositioning among European banks, with Barclays' wealth business also reportedly up for sale.

As for the motivation behind the move to Coutts, a source said Flavel saw it as an opportunity well suited to his long experience of working for a private bank as part of a universal bank. Moreover, added the source, Flavel saw the British firm as an an iconic brand with tremendous heritage, allied with the commercial banking depth, expertise and franchise of RBS. Flavel could not be reached for comment by press time.

He had been hired in January 2011 to build out JP Morgan’s Asian high-net-worth business as CEO of private wealth management. In March last year the PWM division was merged into the core private bank, which covers ultra-high-net-worth clients and is headed by Andrew Cohen, who is now CEO of the combined business. It is understood that Flavel will not be replaced.

Before joining JP Morgan, he had been instrumental in building the business at Standard Chartered Private Bank for seven years, five as global head and before that two as global head of sales marketing and distribution. Flavel also served as general manager for personal financial services at National Australia Bank from 2001 to 2003.

Michael Morley will step down as CEO of Coutts, following media reports in March last year flagging his likely departure. He will remain with the firm until the end of May 2016 to ensure a smooth transition for the business.  

Morley has been with the bank as CEO since 2009, before which he had held roles including head of international private banking at Barclays Wealth and head of private wealth services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Merrill Lynch.

Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at RBS, said: “Michael has been instrumental in guiding the business over the past seven years particularly through a significant period of change. He now feels it is the right time to hand over the reins as the business takes a new direction and re-focuses on growth. I’d like to thank Michael for his significant contribution and to wish him all the very best for the future.

“As we near the completion of the sale of our Swiss and Asia businesses to UBP, we reach an important milestone,” added Rose. “We are investing in our business in the UK and our strong Coutts and Adam brands with a focus on remaining the leading choice for private banking and wealth management.”