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HSBC to split Asia-Pacific global banking role between two executives

·3 min read

HSBC, the biggest of Hong Kong's three currency-issuing banks, plans to split leadership in its Asia-Pacific global banking segment between two executives after David Liao, the former head of the business, was promoted to co-chief executive (CEO) for the region.

Stuart Lea will become head of global banking coverage for South Asia and will relocate to Singapore later this year, according to an internal memorandum seen by the South China Morning Post.

Dai Kitamura, currently head of corporate banking for Asia-Pacific, will become interim head of global banking coverage for North Asia while HSBC conducts an internal and external search for a permanent leader, according to the memo. Kitamura, who is based in Hong Kong and is a candidate for the permanent role, will oversee all of global banking in the region until Lea relocates, the memo said.

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"To fully capture our significant opportunities in Asia, we are creating joint leaders who will have responsibility for integrated risk management and coordination with product partners across the region, leading coverage in North Asia and South Asia," Greg Guyett, co-CEO for global banking and markets, said in the memo. "This will enable a deeper focus on all countries where we have ambition to grow the HSBC franchise."

An HSBC spokeswoman confirmed the contents of the memo.

The internal announcement comes days after HSBC said Peter Wong Tung-shun would retire from his role as Asia-Pacific CEO and step into a non-executive chairman role. The taipan job has been split between Liao and Surendra Rosha, who previously served as CEO of the bank's India business.

On Monday, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said Wong would continue to occupy the so-called Taipan House on The Peak, which overlooks Aberdeen and the south side of Hong Kong Island.

The leadership shuffle comes as the London-based lender is putting even more emphasis on Asia under Quinn. It is hiring 5,000 wealth planners and investing US$6 billion in the region as it seeks to tap rising affluence in the Greater Bay Area. Asia already accounts for more than half of its revenue and Hong Kong is the bank's biggest market.

The retirement of Peter Wong Tung-shun, left, has sparked a leadership shuffle at HSBC. Photo: Felix Wong alt=The retirement of Peter Wong Tung-shun, left, has sparked a leadership shuffle at HSBC. Photo: Felix Wong

The 156-year-old lender was founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but shifted its headquarters to London in 1993 following the acquisition of Midland Bank.

As part of its latest pivot to Asia, HSBC is shifting four of its global leaders from London to Hong Kong, including Guyett.

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 © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.