Fintech News

HSBC Plans To Name New CEO By July

HSBC, a financial services group, plans to appoint a new CEO by July, considering both internal and external candidates.

TakeAway Points:

  • HSBC hopes to name a new leader by July, taking into account both internal and external applicants, to succeed departing CEO Noel Quinn.
  • Iqbal Khan will lead wealth management in Asia-Pacific, while Rob Karofsky will lead in the Americas, according to a reorganisation of UBS’s executive board.
  • With UBS expanding its foothold in the Americas and HSBC concentrating on Asia, both companies are undergoing strategic changes in their leadership teams.

The HSBC CEO Search 

In an effort to make the appointment before the end of July, HSBC Holdings Plc is expediting the process of finding a new chief executive officer. The bank, situated in London, is evaluating both internal and external prospects to succeed departing CEO Noel Quinn. Nuno Matos, head of global wealth and personal banking, and Chief Financial Officer Georges Elhedery are two internal candidates. In order to find the most qualified candidate for the position, the bank is going through a rigorous benchmarking procedure.

“HSBC is conducting a robust and rigorous process to find its next group chief executive. This process will consider internal and external candidates. We will update the market as appropriate.”a spokesperson stated.

An internal candidate could potentially stabilise the bank’s strategy, which has been focused on pivoting operations towards Asia while divesting from major Western markets like Canada and France. The urgency of selecting a new CEO stems from the desire to avoid a drawn-out search, similar to the six months it took to replace former CEO John Flint in 2019. Quinn, who announced his departure in April, has committed to staying on until a smooth transition is ensured. He has been considering his exit for several months and plans to pursue a portfolio career post-HSBC.

UBS Executive Reshuffle

UBS has announced major changes to its executive board, aiming to prepare for CEO Sergio Ermotti’s eventual succession. The bank has divided up the leadership of its wealth management division between Rob Karofsky, who will now oversee the Americas, and Iqbal Khan, who will now lead the Asia-Pacific area. The wealth management unit will have both of them as co-presidents.

“The [group executive board] appointments that we are announcing today will allow us to continue to progress on our integration journey and realise the expected synergies and efficiencies, while putting even more emphasis on our long-term priorities and growth prospects, particularly in the Americas and Asia-Pacific,” Ermotti said in a memo to staff.

Ulrich Körner, CEO of Credit Suisse, and Naureen Hassan, president of UBS Americas, are also retiring as part of the reorganisation. Körner, who oversaw Credit Suisse’s acquisition by UBS, will leave after the legal entities of the two banks combine. As UBS looks to increase its footprint in the Americas—where it currently trails Wall Street rivals like Morgan Stanley—Karofsky’s new position is critical.

Strategic Implications

Meanwhile, both HSBC and UBS are going through major strategic changes, and there have been changes to their leadership teams. HSBC’s focus on Asia and divestment from Western markets has been a point of contention, particularly with shareholder Ping An Insurance Group Co., which has been pushing for more dramatic changes. The appointment of a new CEO could either reinforce or alter this strategic direction.

UBS, on the other hand, is looking to solidify its leadership team to ensure a smooth transition when Ermotti eventually retires, which is expected no earlier than 2027. The bank’s decision to adopt a co-presidential structure for its wealth management unit mirrors the successful succession model used by Morgan Stanley, which recently appointed Ted Pick as CEO.

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