LONDON — FTI Consulting’s global head of financial services Andrew Walton is leaving after 13 years at the consultancy to join Lloyds Banking Group as group corporate affairs director.

He takes up the new role in December, and in the meantime will be acting as a consultant to the bank, as Lloyds has become an FTI client with immediate effect. It’s a return to the in-house world for Walton, who was vice-president of corporate communications at Morgan Stanley in New York before joining FTI in 2005.

The role has been elevated to group executive committee level, with Walton reporting director to group CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio. It covers external and internal communications, public affairs and reputation.

Walton told the Holmes Report: "While I certainly wasn’t looking to leave FTI, really big corporate affairs jobs don’t come up very often. I’ve worked with banks all my career, and an institution like Lloyds joins together all elements of communications, from public affairs and regulatory engagement to media reputation and brand positioning, so that it is communicating effectively to all its audiences. It’s an amazing business, with a great recovery story under Antonio’s leadership, and I’m honoured to be joining the team."

The group corporate affairs director role has been vacant at Lloyds, the UK’s second-largest bank, since Matt Young left the bank in June 2017.

Lloyds chief of staff Janet Pope has been handing the role in an interim capacity for the past year. Her position, which already includes responsible business, sustainability and inclusion and diversity will be expanded to include being the Lloyds’ executive committee’s LGBT champion and responsibility for developing its retail shareholders proposition.

In an internal memo announcing Walton’s appointment, Horta-Osorio said: “I am grateful to Janet for her stewardship and oversight of the GCA function over the past year, and for the excellent work she has done on restructuring the division and building our work on reputation…I am very excited about the arrival of Andrew and the further expansion of Janet’s role. These changes will, I believe, strengthen the Group’s executive capability as we seek to deliver the next stage of our strategic plan.”

At FTI, senior managing director of strategic communications Neil Doyle, who been with the firm for more than seven years, will step up to lead the UK part of the global financial services team.

In a note to staff, FTI’s global head of strategic communications Mark McCall praised Walton’s “immense impact” on the firm: “During his 13-year tenure here, he has been at the center of some of the firm’s largest transactions (advising on well over $150bn of M&A and $100bn of capital raisings) and global client accounts. He has admirably led our financial services team globally and worked with others to develop one of our pre-eminent and best recognized industry specializations. As part of this, he has built a strong team around the world who are ready to carry the torch forward.”