HSBC shifts key London executives to Hong Kong in latest Asia push

The co-head of HSBC’s investment bank is set to move from London to Hong Kong, as the UK lender continues to shift key functions and executives out of the City to its biggest market in Asia.

Greg Guyett, co-CEO of global banking and markets at HSBC, will move to Hong Kong along with Nuno Matos, chief executive of wealth and personal banking, Barry O’Byrne, chief executive of global commercial banking, according to an internal memo seen by Financial News.

The memo, sent to staff today by chief executive Noel Quinn, confirms earlier reports that the bank intends to shift the executives, who head units that account for almost all of HSBC’s global revenues.

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The three will relocate in the second half of 2021, while Nicolas Moreau, HSBC’s head of asset management, will also move from London to Asia, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the moves.

“This decision reflects the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to the strategies of CMB, GBM and WPB. Being based in Hong Kong will enable Barry, Greg and Nuno to be closer to the execution of their plans and to customer needs in the region,” wrote Quinn in the memo.

READ  HSBC shakes up regional bosses amid push to Asia

 “As you know, an important part of our global strategy is to base more of our leadership population in Asia, and so it is a logical step to locate more members of our global executive team in the region,” he added.

More senior investment bankers at HSBC are also likely to move from the UK to Asia, with Quinn saying that “some roles that work directly” with the three men will also relocate. Georges Elhedery, co-CEO of global banking and markets at HSBC who has previously led its sales and trading business, will remain in London.

“Beyond that, we are not planning any large-scale movement of jobs from London to Hong Kong as a result of this decision,” said Quinn in the memo.

In February, HSBC unveiled plans to invest up to $6bn in its Asian business even as it pushes through a strategic overhaul that will see 35,000 jobs lost across the organisation. Quinn said in February that he would “move the heart of the business to Asia, including leadership”, but declined to provide specifics when questioned by journalists.

The bank has had to walk a political tightrope as tensions between China and the UK have escalated over the past 12 months, particularly in relation to a controversial new securities law in Hong Kong. In January, Quinn was grilled by MPs after criticism the global bank had locked Hong Kong democracy activists out of their accounts upon requests from the Hong Kong police.

Financial News reported in February that some mid-ranking bankers in the UK were being offered transfers from London to Hong Kong amid broader cuts in the City. The bank has also cut equities staff, while also shifting senior staff in the unit to Paris and Asia.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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