In this Oct 22, 2020 photo, Peter Wong Tung-shun, deputy chairman and chief executive of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp (HSBC), touches a lion statue outside the HSBC headquarters building in Central, Hong Kong. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
HSBC Holdings Plc named David Liao and Surendra Rosha as co-chief executive officers of Asia Pacific, taking over from long-time regional boss Peter Wong Tung-shun to steer the bank’s expansion in its most pivotal region.
Liao, who was head of global banking Asia Pacific, and Rosha, formerly the CEO of HSBC India, will take over immediately and report to group CEO Noel Quinn, HSBC said in a statement. The 48-year-old Liao is a Hong Kong native, while Rosha, born in 1968, joined the bank in 1991 in India.
HSBC is also moving Greg Guyett, the co-head of the investment bank, Nuno Matos, chief executive officer of wealth and personal banking, and Barry O’Byrne, chief executive of global commercial banking, to the HKSAR from London
“We are investing US$6 billion in Asia in the next 5 years and David and Rosha will lead this next phase of our Asia strategy as we focus on expanding and diversifying our presence across the world’s most dynamic region,” Quinn said in the statement.
The bank is betting its future on the region by steering billions of dollars in capital toward Asia, while shrinking or exiting unprofitable operations in other parts of the world. Key to this is tapping into the Chinese mainland’s rising affluence and a plan to create an economic powerhouse by linking the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region closer to mainland cities such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou in the Greater Bay Area.
ALSO READ: HSBC exits US retail banking to target rich clients, Asia
Liao and Rosha will both be based in the HKSAR. Liao has spent 24 years at HSBC and was seen as one of the front-runners in replacing Wong. Rosha was named CEO of India in 2018 and before that had served head of the Asia Pacific financial institutions group.
“The re-shuffle seems to be oriented toward maintaining stability,” said Brock Silvers, chief investment officer at Kaiyuan Capital in Hong Kong. “Peter Wong will move upstairs to the chairman’s role, leaving his deputy Liao to likely run the crucial China business, with the the former India CEO Rosha left to run ex-China markets.”
Wong, who had held HSBC’s top position in Asia since 2010, will become non-executive chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, the firm’s local unit, and serve as an adviser to Quinn and Chairman Mark Tucker. He had been preparing for his eventual retirement by mentoring Liao and Mark Yunfeng Wang, the head of its mainland operations, people familiar with the matter have said.
Under Wong’s leadership, the region has become an increasingly important part of HSBC. Asia Pacific contributed 53 percent of total revenue in 2020, up from 27 percent when he took over in 2010, according to an internal memo Wong sent to staff. The contents of the memo were confirmed by a spokeswoman.
The bank also announced earlier that it’s beefing up its leadership further in the HKSAR, its biggest market. It’s moving Greg Guyett, the co-head of the investment bank, Nuno Matos, chief executive officer of wealth and personal banking, and Barry O’Byrne, chief executive of global commercial banking, to the city from London.
“Asia Pacific is at the heart of both HSBC’s past and its future,” Wong said in the memo. Given the capital commitment to Asia “and with three of the business heads shortly moving to the region we are getting the money, resources and focus we need to make the most of opportunities that lie ahead of us,” he said.
READ MORE: Goldman, HSBC to open Hong Kong offices fully as virus wanes
Hitendra Dave was named interim CEO of HSBC India and will take over permanently once regulatory approval is received.
Liao’s successor will be announced in due course, the bank said.