Tasmanian-born Dan Heath, a former Morgan Stanley banker and Stephanie Hill, a City high-flier, have joined SG Hambros in Gibraltar to operate as private bankers dealing with the bank’s clients on the Costas. Both are experts in the complex field of financial investment products and have the wide range of banking skills required of today’s state-of-the-art approaches to investment structures.
Heath kicked off his career in finance after graduating in economics from university in Tasmania working for a small broking house in Sidney 18 years ago. This was just after Australia deregulated brokerage houses, many of which were taken over by banks.
He moved on to the UK where after a spell with Northern Trust he joined Morgan Stanley – and was “thrown in at the deep end”, opening new markets in former Soviet block countries including Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary. In the early stages much of his work involved in “trading debt” – bonds from the former regime and borrowings of new enterprises.
For almost eight years he “commuted” between London and eastern Europe, spending half of each month in the former Comecon countries. Back in London he had a short spell as an entrepreneur in his own right – opening a coffee bar which he later sold. But he missed the buzz and environment of banking.
“Working at the cutting edge of a big bank you are surrounded by smart people all the time,” Heath explains. “You become so accustomed to it that you take it for granted…and it is only when you have left that environment and the mental stimulation that it provides that you feel the loss. I missed that and went back…”
A CV sent off to several possible employers reached Franco Cassar; the two men met…and Heath was back in the “exciting environment” though this time in Gibraltar and on the Costas.
Her French mother having given her a linguistic fluency and with a string of A-levels behind her Stephanie Edghill went straight into banking in the City from school and – as a fast track entry to the profession – within a year at B N Paribas, when she was still only19 she was working in the bank’s dealing room and by the time she was 20 – at the time of the first invasion of Kuwait – was handling the bank’s US dollar book…a remarkable achievement for her age.
“That was about when I started to explore structured products and later with CNCA (a French bank later taken over by Hyperbank) was encouraged to use my French skills on the corporate desk.”
In a later break from banking four years she spent a year gaining an MBA – with a thesis on financing charities – putting this to good use in a consultancy role with Action Aid before moving to Spain where she represented Coutts (Swiss) Bank in Marbella.
“I sat next to Franco (Cassar) at a dinner and he asked me to send in my CV…and here I am,” she explains.