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HSBC splits key role as Asia chief in greater focus on fastest growing region

·2-min read
<p>HSBC billboard</p> (PA Wire)

HSBC billboard

(PA Wire)

HSBC today announced it was splitting the role of Asia Pacific CEO into two following the retirement of the current CEO of the bank’s most important division, Peter Wong.

His post will be taken up by UK-educated Hong Konger David Liao and former India head Surendra Rosha, who will be styled as co-CEOs of the region, based in Hong Kong and reporting directly to group chief executive Noel Quinn.

HSBC stressed the region would continue to be run as a single entity.

Asia Pacific is by far the biggest region for profits and growth for HSBC and the company has been cutting back its operations in the rest of the world to focus investment there.

Quinn said: “We are investing $6 billion in Asia in the next five 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.”

The appointments confirmed reports last week by Bloomberg, which stated Liao would probably manage Greater China while Rosha oversees the rest of the region.

Liao, in particular, will be key to how HSBC handles the controversial growing dominance of its native Hong Kong by China over the coming years.

The pair will also be charged with keeping HSBC’s competitive edge across the region at a time of increasingly strong performances from rivals such as London-listed Standard Chartered and Singapore’s DBS.

Retiring Wong will become non-executive chairman of the Asia Pacific region, taking over from outgoing Laura Cha.

Wong is a member of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference - the country’s top political advisory body - and has spent much of his recent career nurturing HSBC’s relationship with the Beijing.

Liao is also experienced in dealing with the Chinese administration, having headed the China arm for five years previously. Educated in the UK, he was born in Hong Kong.

As well as scaling back HSBC’s operations in London, the US and Europe, Quinn has been moving more top executives to Hong Kong to spearhead his renewed focus on the region.

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