Martello Financial Services (part of Blackrock Expert Services Group) partner Richard Moore is a highly experienced financial services expert with over 30 years of experience in global banking and finance.

In this Q&A, Richard discusses his background and expertise within banking and finance, Martello’s unique service offering and the main challenges facing the financial services sector today.

What is your role at Blackrock Expert Services Group?

My role is to establish and run Martello Financial Services, along with fellow founding partner, James Garvey, where we provide specialist expert witnesses to support commercial disputes and regulatory investigations.  This includes a range of financial specialisms across the banking, insurance, pensions and asset management sectors.

We launched Martello Financial Services in June 2019, and I essentially do three things: identify, interview and on-board specialist financial experts to our panel; engage with lawyers to promote awareness of Martello and respond to specific requests; and from time to time I will personally undertake an expert witness appointment.

We now have a number of exciting projects where we are providing expert witnesses with real industry experience that are being supported by the Blackrock Expert Services Group.

Please describe your career to date.

I have worked in financial services for over 30 years and, although this included brief periods at a commodity trader and a derivatives broker, my career is defined by 22 years at Citigroup and 5 years at Lloyds Banking Group. I initially worked in dealing rooms and progressed to managing business.

At Citigroup my roles included Global head of Foreign Exchange and European Head of Fixed Income and at Lloyds I ran the Financial Markets division.

Since leaving Lloyds in March 2017, I have sat on the Bank of England Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) Oversight Committee, which oversights the daily publication of the SONIA benchmark, and Chaired the SONIA Stakeholder Advisory Group.

What do you most enjoy about your current work and can you describe a typical day in your role?

Having spent my entire career in large organisations I have thoroughly enjoyed starting a business from scratch.  A little over a year ago, Martello did not exist, we had no employees, no clients and no appointments and seeing this develop over the past year has been a steep learning curve but very enjoyable. Obviously, this has been much easier as part of the Blackrock Expert Services Group who already have an excellent reputation in the expert witness market.  Having Haberman Ilett as part of the group also lends a great deal of support with the Forensic Accounting element.

There is no such thing as a typical day in this role, which is one of the benefits. When I am in the London office it will generally involve meeting lawyers or experts.

What has been a career highlight for you?

Whilst at Citigroup I was lucky enough to have the Global Head of Foreign Exchange role when the first wave of technology was starting to reinvent the industry, whether that was bank to bank systems or bank to customer electronic systems. I essentially lived through the change from when foreign exchange involved multiple people transacting a trade to very few people and it being done largely electronically. In my position I had a good seat to see that switch happen very rapidly, so that was certainly one of the highlights.

Latterly in my time at Lloyds, in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, we were all focussed on restoring Lloyds to private ownership and implementing the vast number of regulatory changes introduced to prevent any prospect of a repeat of the mistakes that led to it. This is where James Garvey and I got to know each other, as we worked closely together throughout this period.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges currently facing the financial services sector?

This would be a far more straight-forward question to answer six months ago, before the current global health pandemic. It is not clear exactly how the financial service sector will emerge from this crisis; lower interest rates and larger loan losses will challenge the banking sector, fixed income and equity markets may take a while to return to normal, the insurance sector may have unforeseen liabilities and I am sure a variety of disputes will emerge.

The issues that pre-dated COVID-19 have not gone away, be that LIBOR transition, implementing GDPR laws and standards, the structure and size of fees in asset management and ever higher regulatory standards and expectations of all financial services firms.

Whatever the challenges, the financial services sector will adapt and continue to be an important sector for the UK and global economy. At Martello we are confident that we understand these challenges and we have assembled a very high calibre panel of experts to provide the right support to our clients.