Former Chief Executive of Schroders and Chair of Lloyds Banking Group and Citigroup, Sir Win Bischoff, has died at the age of 81 after a brief illness.
Bischoff was a prominent figure in the financial services industry for over 50 years, playing an instrumental role in guiding several prestigious financial institutions in London and Wall Street through the 2008 financial crisis.
Lloyds Banking Group’s Chair, Robin Budenberg, said in a statement that Bischoff was a pivotal figure in the governance of banking and other business sectors.
He was a guiding hand towards a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive financial sector.
Elizabeth Corley, Chair of Schroders, said that Sir Win had a significant impact on the company and will be remembered fondly by those who worked for him.
Bischoff was born in Germany during wartime and later moved to apartheid-era Johannesburg with his family.
He attended New York University and began his career at Chase Manhattan.
He joined Schroders, a small investment bank and asset manager at the time, in 1966 and remained with the company for 34 years.
At the age of 29, he moved to Hong Kong to found its Hong Kong operations.
One of his early accomplishments was to help list Li Ka-shing’s property and manufacturing business, which laid the foundations of success for the now-billionaire tycoon.
When Bischoff returned to London in 1984, he was named Schroders’ Chief Executive at the age of 42, just ahead of Margaret Thatcher’s Big Bang reforms of the City, which turbocharged the British financial sector.
Under Bischoff’s leadership, Schroders grew from a £112mn small firm to a £4.5bn group.
His key transformational deal was selling its investment banking unit to Citigroup, which he later joined as European Chair.
In late 2007, as Citigroup faced a crisis, Bischoff was summoned to New York to take over as Interim Chief Executive when Chuck Prince was fired after $11bn of subprime mortgage losses were revealed.
When Vikram Pandit took over, Bischoff was named group Chair and helped stabilise the lender after a partial state bailout.
Bischoff returned to the UK in 2009 as Chair of Lloyds Bank, which was in crisis after its ill-advised takeover of HBOS and the subsequent taxpayer bailout that sparked public fury.
He removed the Chief Executive and recruited António Horta-Osório in 2011, who shrank and de-risked the combined group.
Bischoff retired at the age of 72 in 2014, and three years later, the government sold the last of its stake. It still owns more than 40 per cent of NatWest.
Bischoff was an established grandee when he took over the UK’s audit regulator, the Financial Reporting Council.
However, he had to endure a series of accounting scandals amid corporate collapses.
He also chaired JPMorgan Securities, the European arm of the US company, from 2014 until 2020.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said Sir Win was a giant of the industry and that it was an honour to have worked with him so closely.
Sir Winfried Bischoff Cause of Death
Sir Winfried Bischoff dies after suffering an acute illness at his home around family and friends.
Sir Winfried Franz Wilhelm Bischoff is survived by his two sons and five grandchildren.
His funeral will be private for family and close friends, followed by a public memorial service at a date to be announced.