Insider named new HSBC boss
HSBC has named retail head John Flint as its next chief executive, signalling continuity in the Asia-focused bank’s strategy.
Mr Flint, the preferred pick of outgoing CEO Stuart Gulliver, has been with the bank since joining in 1989 after college and holding key roles in its treasury, asset-management and retail businesses.
The naming of a new CEO comes less than two weeks after chairman Mark Tucker started in his new role. Mr Tucker, HSBC’s first outside chairman since the bank’s founding in 1865, was tasked with finding a new CEO after Mr Gulliver said in March he would retire in 2018. Mr Flint will start in February.
Even before formally joining the bank’s board in September and taking over as chairman this month, Mr Tucker met with internal and external candidates. He was hired as chairman in March from AIA Group, where he was CEO.
Mr Tucker said he was struck by Mr Flint’s “vision and passion” for the bank and his record of building highperforming teams.
The mix of having a chairman from outside and an insider CEO was also compelling, he said.
“We felt he was the best and optimal fit,” he said.
HSBC, founded in Hong Kong, for decades was focused on expanding its footprint across the world. From 2011 under Mr. Gulliver and former chairman Douglas Flint — to whom the new CEO isn’t related — that focus shifted to cope with a new regulatory environment and tougher economic conditions after the financial crisis.
HSBC shut dozens of businesses, exited swathes of the globe and spent billions of dollars on improving its financial crime fighting systems after entering a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement in the US over sanctions and anti-money laundering breaches.
Because of Mr Tucker’s outsider status, analysts had expected the new CEO to be either Mr Flint or another internal candidate. The bank’s share price was unchanged.
Mr Tucker said he, Mr Flint and the board have been working to set out the bank’s next opportunities and priorities, and that some parts of the current strategy could be “enhanced and accelerated.”
“We don’t anticipate any immediate changes,” Mr Tucker said.