Group chief executive, Lloyds TSB Group
Born: 1951, in Dillon, Montana.
Education: Cornell University, BA, 1973; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MSc, 1975.
Family: Married (wife's name unknown); children: one.
Career: Citibank Panama City, 1975–1980, corporate banker; Citibank Argentina, 1980–1982, chief financial officer and branch manager; Citibank Chile, 1982–1985, business manager; Citibank Argentina, 1985–1988, country head; Citibank Private Bank of London, 1988–1991, divisional executive; Citibank, 1992–1996, president of West Coast consumer franchise; Citibank Consumer Bank, 1996–1997, regional head; 1998, chief operating officer, consumer finance; Travelers Life & Annuity, 1998–2000, chairman and chief executive officer; Zona Financiera, 2000–2001, chairman and chief executive officer; Lloyds TSB Group, 2001–2003, group executive director, United Kingdom retail banking; 2003–, group chief executive.
Address: Lloyds TSB Group, 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN, United Kingdom; http://www.lloydstsb.com.
■ Eric Daniels was appointed group chief executive of Lloyds TSB Group in 2003, after spending a year as group executive director of U.K. retail banking. In 2004 Lloyds TSB was one of the largest banks in the United Kingdom, with nearly 80,000 employees and operations in 27 countries. Daniels's extensive banking experience, coupled with his commitment to offering superior value to customers and shareholders, led to early success in his tenure with the company.
Born in 1951 in Dillon, Montana, Daniels spent his youth in the state, gaining affection for the sports of fly-fishing and shooting. His parents were first-generation immigrants, his mother from China and his father from Germany. Daniels attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and graduated in 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. Two years later he earned a graduate degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Daniels began his career with Citibank in 1975 and moved steadily up the corporate ladder. He first worked in corporate banking in Panama City, Panama, and then became chief financial officer and branch manager of 15 Citibank branches in Argentina in 1980, business manager of Citibank Chile in 1982, and country head of Citibank Argentina in 1985. Daniels was transferred in 1988 to London, where he acted as divisional executive of Citibank Private Bank, and in 1992 to San Francisco, California, where he was president of Citibank's West Coast consumer franchise. In 1996 Daniels returned to Europe, where he was regional head of Citibank Consumer Bank, based in Brussels, Belgium. Two years later Daniels was promoted to chief operating officer of consumer finance, a position that took him to New York City.
In 1998 Daniels was named president and chief executive officer of Connecticut-based Travelers Life & Annuity, a unit of Citibank formed by the merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group. Daniels's expertise in marketing and building consumer franchises was believed to be an excellent fit to the needs of the organization, despite his limited background in the insurance industry.
Daniels' next move was considered unconventional, considering his 25 years with a well-established banking firm. In 2000 he left Citibank to head Zona Financiera, an Internet start-up company designed to provide financial services information to the Latin American market. "It's never an easy decision to leave a place you've been a part of for a long time," he told David Reich-Hale of American Banker , "but I really believe this company is going to succeed" (May 18, 2000). By 2001, however, the company was falling short of Daniels's expectations, and the timing was right for his recruitment by Lloyds TSB Group, which was headquartered in London.
Daniels began his tenure at Lloyds TSB in the role of group executive director of U.K. retail banking. He kept a relatively low profile, however, and thus his installment as chief executive of the company in 2003 took some by surprise. To European analysts and investors Daniels was somewhat of an unknown entity; analysts nicknamed him "the invisible man." The powers that be at Lloyds, however, were well aware of Daniels's extensive financial services background. Maarten van den Bergh, the chairman of Lloyds TSB, told Joanne Hart of The Times , "Eric is a fantastic combination of a good manager, with excellent analytical skills, a tremendous sense of reality, a highly developed imagination, and [is] a great leader of people" (December 21, 2002).
The new chief wasted no time in implementing his strategy to improve performance at the company. "Since joining Lloyds, I have refocused the bank around the customer so there is a better balance between shareholder needs and customer needs," Daniels told Hart (December 21, 2002). Daniels's customer-centric approach, along with a series of strategic changes that included selling off operations in New Zealand and Brazil and reducing the number of staff members, led to a 66 percent improvement in annual profits for Lloyds. By the end of 2003 Daniels was optimistic about the company's progress and had "an increasing sense of confidence that we are now building on the foundations that have been put in place for the group to deliver improved performance in 2004 and beyond," he told the Evening Standard (December 15, 2003).
Daniels was described by colleagues and analysts as analytical yet imaginative, realistic yet optimistic, reserved yet charming. Hart and Caroline Merrell of The Times wrote, "Daniels appears the most cerebral leader within his industry, with few of the conventional hallmarks of a mainstream UK bank director" (July 4, 2003). Daniels hung a "No Whining" poster in his office, evidence of his uncompromising approach to getting the job done. He received greatest enjoyment from spending time with his wife, who was originally from Panama, and his son, who was born in the United Kingdom. Daniels told Hart and Merrell his ambition was "to be a good person, a good parent, and a good member of society" (July 4, 2003).
See also entries on Citigroup Inc. and Lloyds TSB Group plc in International Directory of Company Histories .
Chase, Brett, "Citibank Veteran Will Lead Travelers Insurance Division," American Banker , March 25, 1999.
Hart, Joanne, "Lloyds Recruits 'Invisible Man' as New Chief," The Times , December 21, 2002.
Hart, Joanne, and Caroline Merrell, "New Stage for a Son of the Wild West," The Times , July 4, 2003.
"Lloyds TSB Banking a GBP4.35bn Profit," Europe Intelligence Wire, March 8, 2004.
Reich-Hale, David, "CEO of Unit at Citi Quits to Lead Latin Web Firm," American Banker , May 18, 2000.
"US Banker Takes Over as CEO at Lloyds TSB," Euroweek , January 10, 2003.
"Wary UK Financial Giant Lloyds TSB Shuns Higher-Risk Mortgage Deals," Evening Standard, December 15, 2003.
—Stephanie Dionne Sherk