HSBC names retail banking head as replacement for chief executive
LONDON – Mark Tucker is the first outsider to serve as HSBC’s chairman, but he has chosen someone from within as the bank’s next chief executive.
HSBC said Thursday that John Flint, who is in charge of the lender’s retail banking and wealth management business, would assume the role of chief executive in February, when Stuart Gulliver retires.
The naming of Flint is the latest in a series of moves to reshape the leadership of the bank, which is based in London but generates much of its profit in Asia. HSBC also has shaken up its board recently, adding four independent directors.
Tucker said in a news release that Flint had “broad and deep banking experience across regions, businesses and functions.”
“He has a great understanding and regard for HSBC’s heritage, and the passion to build the bank for the next generation,” Tucker added. “Through the search process, John has developed with myself and the board a clear sense of the opportunities and priorities that lie ahead.”
Flint, 49, joined HSBC in 1989 and spent his first 14 years at the company in Asia, working with its global markets business. He has previously served as the bank’s treasurer, chief executive of its global asset management business, and chief of staff for Gulliver.
As chief executive, Flint will receive an annual salary of 1.2 million pounds, or about $1.6 million. He also will receive a fixed pay allowance of 1.7 million pounds a year and an annual pension allowance of 360,000 pounds, as well as discretionary variable pay and a long-term incentive award based on the bank’s performance.
“I am humbled by the responsibility and enormously excited by the opportunity to lead HSBC as group CEO,” Flint said. “The bank is very well positioned for the future, but we must continue to innovate and accelerate the pace of change required to meet the expectations of our shareholders, customers, employees and society at large.”
Tucker, the former chief executive of the Asian life insurer AIA Group, was named chairman in March, succeeding Douglas Flint, who had been with HSBC since 1995 and who had been chairman since 2010.
One of Tucker’s first tasks was to lead the search for the successor to Gulliver, who became chief executive in 2011.
Under the leadership of Douglas Flint and Gulliver, HSBC has undergone major changes, making efforts to navigate a difficult business environment and the greater scrutiny and capital demands from regulators after the financial crisis.
In recent years, the bank has significantly reshaped its operations by shedding tens of thousands of jobs, selling underperforming businesses and shrinking its global investment banking business.
Last year, HSBC, which was founded in 1865 in Hong Kong as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., decided to keep its headquarters in London after a lengthy review. In announcing its decision in February 2016, HSBC said that Asia remained “at the heart of the group’s strategy.”
HSBC has also undergone the expensive process of strengthening its financialcrime compliance after reaching a $1.9 billion settlement with the U.S. government in 2012.
“After the most extensive restructuring of the bank in its history and a relentless focus on meeting the evolving expectations of society, I am confident HSBC is in better shape than it was seven years ago,” Gulliver said in the statement Thursday.