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HSBC reshuffles top team ahead of restructuring

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Via Financial Times

HSBC has announced a reshuffle of its top executives and hired a new chief operating officer, as its interim chief executive Noel Quinn makes his mark on the bank ahead of a big restructuring.

The bank, which is due to unveil the restructuring in February, said on Monday that Marc Moses, its chief risk officer, would be replaced by Pam Kaur, head of wholesale market and credit risk, from January 1. Mr Moses will continue to “provide support” to Mr Quinn until next December, when he will formally retire, HSBC said.

The executive reshuffle comes as Mr Quinn prepares to unveil a big overhaul of the group to slash costs and reduce the size of the balance sheet in Europe and the US, where the Asia-focused bank makes subpar returns. The overhaul is likely to result in thousands of redundancies. 

HSBC also announced it would replace its existing chief operating officer with John Hinshaw, formerly executive vice president of Hewlett Packard, where he oversaw a radical reduction of costs. Andy Maguire, who currently holds the role, will retire in June next year following the completion of his six months’ notice period, the company said. 

HSBC confirmed that Samir Assaf would step down as the head of its investment bank, known internally as global banking and markets or GBM, in March to take on a new role as chair of corporate and institutional banking. He will be replaced by two co-heads: Georges Elhedery, who runs the bank’s markets business, and Greg Guyett, head of banking. 

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The bank said the management changes would “position the group for the next phase of its strategy”.

The FT recently reported that HSBC’s cost-cutting drive threatened up to 10,000 jobs. People working on the plan say that the reduction to the bank’s 237,000 headcount could be even larger when accounting for the balance sheet reduction and the sale of assets including its French retail bank. 

Mr Quinn was appointed interim chief executive in August following the ousting of his predecessor John Flint, who had lost the confidence of the board of directors in part because he had dithered in the face of a deteriorating outlook for the bank. 

In October, Mr Quinn announced his intention to “remodel” large parts of HSBC as the lender reported a 24 per cent decline in third-quarter net profit and abandoned its main financial target.

Some investors have been surprised by the scale of the changes instigated by Mr Quinn given that he holds the job on an interim basis. He has applied for the permanent role and is the only internal candidate, although the board has also started a search for external contenders. 

In a statement accompanying the reshuffle announcement, Mr Quinn thanked the departing executives and said he was looking forward to working with their “talented and capable” successors “as we execute plans for the next phase of the bank”.

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