HSBC will share its main leading role in Asia between China and the rest of the continent, while the bank establishes a closer relationship with Beijing, while accumulating more capital and resources in the region.
Peter Wong, who has been the lender’s executive director in Asia for ten years, will be replaced by co-chairs David Liao, who will oversee his Chinese strategy, and Surendra Rosha, who will manage the rest of the region.
Liao, currently head of the Asia-Pacific Global Banking Group, is from Hong Kong and previously led HSBC in China. Rosha, the head of her Indian operations, has been working in the bank for 30 years.
The handover schedule, first reported by Bloomberg, has not been finalized, but could come as early as this summer, according to a person close to the bank.
Wong, 69, is expected to remain at the bank as non-executive president of Asian business, the person said. The overhaul is part of the earthquake of the bank’s global management, which will include its four top management moving to Hong Kong from London. HSBC declined to comment.
HSBC CEO Noel Quinn has begun identifying candidates to replace Wong on Christmas. The succession plan was a crucial part of his strategy to accelerate HSBC’s plan pivot to Asia, which is most important for his growth ambitions.
Wong’s retirement comes at an inconvenient time for a UK-based lender but makes most of his profits in Hong Kong. It has fallen into a geopolitical dispute between China and the West.
Wong, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s political advisory body, was key to easing tensions between the bank and Beijing over its role in the arrest of Huawei CEO Meng Wanzhou. However, the UK, US and shareholders criticized HSBC last year when Wong publicly approved the controversial national security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong.
As part of a renewed strategy in February, Quinn vowed to “move the heart of the business to Asia,” while uncovering a deeper section of bad operations in Europe and the US.
It has invested $ 6 billion in new investments in Hong Kong, China and Singapore, and sold the French and US network of retail branches of the bank to improve the overhaul announced in 2020, which aims to relocate more than $ 100 billion of capital to Asia and reduce 35,000 places .
HSBC has expanded wealth management and asset management as a priority in the region – particularly China, Singapore and India – and has committed to investing $ 3.5 billion and hiring more than 5,000 wealth advisors.