CMS battles ‘admin-heavy’ roster reviews with new bank panel guru

CMS Cameron McKenna has appointed a bank panel guru to commoditise its applications for client roster places, as the firm responds to the increasingly administration-heavy nature of pitch processes.

City banking partner Rebecca Schofield has been handed the remit to co-ordinate the firm’s bank panel submissions as part of her new business development role, with key reviews including the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group’s currently underway.

Schofield, whose client relationships include Lloyds TSB Bank and RBS, has been charged with overseeing the administration of submission processes to ensure that the firm makes the most of the similarities in banks’ different review processes. She took on the position at the start of this financial year.

CMS is thought to be on three of the sector’s four most coveted panels – HSBC’s UK roster, Lloyds and RBS – as well as Barclays Bank’s commercial real estate and private equity and infrastructure funds panels. It is not on Barclays’ general advisory, lending and finance or core investment banking and markets panels (1 July 2011).

A CMS source said the firm had chosen to give the portfolio to someone “who is […] a partner and has the clout” and that it aimed to “benefit from the commonality of dealing with all of these banks” by issuing the remit to a banking partner.

The source added: “You can only do so much with a marketing bod. There is a large degree of commonality with these processes. They’re incredibly admin-heavy processes.”

The appointment is a sign of the increasingly process-heavy methods of selecting bank panel firms, with Barclays’ 2011 roster rejig standing out as a notable departure from the recent trend for procurement-led reviews (9 January 2012).

A CMS spokesperson said Schofield’s role was not specifically a bank panel co-ordinator job but part of a wider business development portfolio.

Schofield was unavailable for comment.