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HSBC shuffles senior management as interim CEO Noel Quinn makes his mark on the bank

Chad Bray chadwick.bray@scmp.com

HSBC is revamping its senior management ranks as interim chief executive Noel Quinn continues to put his stamp on the bank as he hopes to retain the top job permanently.

On Monday, HSBC said that Marc Moses, the group chief risk officer and one of only four executives to sit on the bank's board of directors, will step down from his roles at the end of the year and be replaced by Pam Kaur, head of wholesale market and credit risk. He will officially retire from the bank on December 9, 2020.

The bank's group chief operating officer, Andy Maguire, will retire at the end of January and Sami Assaf, the long-time head of HSBC's investment bank, will take a new position as chairman of the bank's corporate and institutional banking business.

John Hinshaw, a former Hewlett Packard Enterprise executive, will join as group chief operating officer designate on Tuesday. Georges Elhedery, head of global markets, and Greg Guyett, head of global banking, will replace Assaf as co-heads of the global banking and markets business.

"I'd like to thank each of these individuals for their extraordinary dedication and commitment to the bank over many years," Quinn said in a stock exchange filing on Monday. "In their respective successors we have talented and capable individuals that I'm looking forward to working closely with as we execute plans for the next phase of the bank."

Quinn was named interim CEO in August and has been moving to restructure its operations as part of his efforts to "remodel" Europe's largest bank by assets. He replaced John Flint, who was ousted after 18 months in the top job.

HSBC reshuffles decks as it braces for more challenging times

At the time of Flint's departure, HSBC chairman Mark Tucker said a "different approach" was needed to navigate the "complex and challenging global environment" the lender was facing. Quinn is the only internal candidate in a search that is expected to take six to 12 months in total.

HSBC, which is based in London, but generates much of its profit in Asia, counts Hong Kong as its largest market and has made a big bet on the future growth of the Pearl River Delta area in mainland China.

It has struggled to turn around its operations in the United States and continental Europe, as well as in its capital-intensive investment banking business.

In the third quarter, Quinn singled out the bank's business in continental Europe, the US and the non-ring-fenced bank in the United Kingdom as not having "acceptable" performance in the third quarter. The global banking and markets segment reported a 32 per cent drop in pre-tax profit in the quarter.

Quinn has previously said he would accelerate efforts to cut costs and shift capital to more profitable business lines or regions, but has declined to discuss his plans until he reveals the bank's updated strategic plan, which is expected before HSBC reports its annual results in February.

Hong Kong, the bank's biggest market, has been embroiled in one of its worst political crises for more six months, with protests and civil unrest forcing the city's economy into a "technical recession" in the third quarter.

The bank has said the Hong Kong business was "resilient" in the third quarter, but increased its provision for expected credit losses by US$400 million "to reflect the economic outlook in Hong Kong".

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.