By Margot Patrick
HSBC Holdings PLC pruned its top ranks and announced new hires Monday as part of a strategic revamp, with three of its most senior executives set to retire or move into other roles.
The British bank confirmed that Samir Assaf, its longtime global banking and markets chief executive, will leave his job in March and become chairman of corporate and institutional banking. Mr. Assaf's deputies, global markets head Georges Elhedery and global banking chief Greg Guyett, will take over as co-heads of the GBM unit, one of HSBC's largest by assets. Mr. Assaf has been with the bank since 2000 and head of GBM since 2011.
Other changes include the departure of a 14-year veteran, Marc Moses, who is leaving the bank's board and his job as chief risk officer next month, to be replaced by Pam Kaur, head of wholesale market and credit risk. The bank said Chief Operating Officer Andy Maguire will give up his role as of January, having helped HSBC find his replacement, former Hewlett Packard executive John Hinshaw.
The reshuffle comes after the bank's board ousted CEO John Flint in August after just 18 months in the role, in what Chairman Mark Tucker said was a needed leadership change to address worsening conditions in HSBC's two home markets. Violent antigovernment protests have rocked Hong Kong, while the U.K. economy is being tested by uncertainty over its planned exit from the European Union.
The board installed commercial banking head Noel Quinn as interim CEO and gave him a broad mandate to restructure the bank. Mr. Quinn has said he would like the job permanently and is seen by analysts and investors as likely to continue in the role after a formal CEO search process is completed. In Mr. Quinn's brief tenure, the bank has accelerated plans to sell its French retail bank and is shedding thousands of jobs to lower costs.
HSBC is readying for a fresh phase of restructuring that will likely see it exit more countries and businesses. In October, Mr. Quinn said the bank needed to simplify its structure and improve earnings in its U.K.-based investment bank, as well as in continental Europe and the U.S. In an interview that month, he said HSBC would narrow its geographic focus and business mix but that it still aimed to grow in Asia and other higher-growth markets. HSBC has operations in 65 countries but makes more than three-quarters of its profits in Asia.
The revamp comes after extensive restructuring in 2011 and in 2015, which saw HSBC withdraw from around 20 countries and shutter dozens of businesses. In those reorganizations, HSBC sought to better integrate and centralize a sprawl of operations that had formed from two decades of acquisitions.
Its control and oversight of far-flung subsidiaries improved, according to regulators and ratings firms. But bank executives say the rejiggering also created additional costs and layers of bureaucracy that Mr. Quinn and his team are now trying to flatten.
Write to Margot Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org