HSBC has promoted two senior bankers to lead its biggest market in Asia, following the retirement of long-standing boss, Peter Wong.
David Liao and Surendra Rosha have been named as co-chief executives of HSBC’s Asia Pacific business, taking over from Wong who has led the unit for over a decade. Wong will remain as a non-executive director of HSBC’s business in Asia.
The appointments come as the UK lender is refocusing its business on Asia, where it makes the majority of its profits, and shifting senior leaders for major divisions from London to Hong Kong.
Liao was previously head of global banking for Asia Pacific at HSBC, essentially leading its investment bank in the region, while Rosha was previously head of HSBC India. They will take over the roles immediately and report to chief executive Noel Quinn.
Quinn said in a statement that the pair would “lead this next phase of our Asia strategy as we focus on expanding and diversifying our presence across the world’s most dynamic region”.
HSBC is set to invest $6bn in Asia over the next five years as it expands both its wealth management and investment banking capabilities in the region. Greg Guyett, co-chief executive of its global banking and markets unit, will relocate from London to Hong Kong, alongside three other senior executives — Nuno Matos, who leads wealth and personal banking, Barry O’Byrne, global head of commercial banking and asset management boss Nicolas Moreau.
“We are investing in Asia’s dynamic markets and in our technology,” said Liao and Rosha in a joint statement. “This will generate unprecedented opportunities both for the bank and for our customers.”
Rhonit Ghose, a banking analyst at Citigroup, said the appointment of co-CEOs for the region makes sense for the UK lender. “David is known for his rich experiences in Greater China while Surendra complements David with expertise in other Asia markets,” he wrote in a 7 June note.
HSBC’s investment in Asia comes as the bank continues to push through a radical transformation unveiled in February 2020 that will see 35,000 jobs lost across the organisation and a retreat from non-core markets.
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