Five Insiders Could Replace Samir Assaf at HSBC -- Financial News
By Paul Clarke
Of Financial News
Samir Assaf is expected to step down from his role leading HSBC
Holdings PLC's (HSBA.LN) global banking and markets division after
eight years, paving the way for a successor who faces a challenge
in turning performance at the division around.
Mr. Assaf is considered one of the City's best-known and
most-respected bankers, having joined HSBC in 2000. In a 2017
interview with Financial News he described himself as the "last man
standing" in U.K. investment banking.
Once touted as a successor to Stuart Gulliver as chief executive
of HSBC, Mr. Assaf was asked to stay on as head of global banking
and markets by John Flint when he replaced Gulliver in early
He will now take on a nonexecutive director role at the bank,
with current interim chief executive Noel Quinn expected to
announce more senior management changes at a strategy update next
Whoever replaces Assaf will face the immediate job of improving
performance within GBM. Pre-tax profits at the division fell almost
22% year on year during the first nine months of 2019, to around $4
FN spoke to City headhunters and bank insiders about the
internal candidates who could be in the running for Mr. Assaf's
Antonio Simoes, chief executive, private banking--the Portuguese
banker took up his current position in January but has held various
senior roles at HSBC since joining from McKinsey, the consultancy,
in 2007. A former Goldman Sachs investment banker, Mr. Simoes has
led HSBC's U.K. retail banking business and was also previously its
chief executive for Europe.
He joined the bank as group head of strategy--experience that
could serve him well in a position leading GBM at a difficult time
for both banking and trading businesses. Mr. Simoes has also worked
across HSBC's retail and wealth management and asset management
Crucially, he has spent time in HSBC's largest market in Asia,
where he served as chief of staff to former chief executive Michael
Geoghegan in Hong Kong for two years.
Greg Guyett, head of global banking--Mr. Guyett only joined HSBC
in October last year, to lead its traditional investment banking
business. Nonetheless, insiders say he has impressed internally
with his moves to shake up a business that has often struggled to
keep pace with its rivals. Guyett is paring down the number of
sectors and countries the bank covers and has moved quickly to cut
underperforming bankers and hire dealmakers expected to land the
bank more roles on prestigious mergers and acquisitions.
During his nearly 30 years at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), he
worked across investment banking and commercial banking in the
U.S., Asia and Europe. His appointment would also signal a change
of focus at HSBC, which has in recent times picked executives from
its sales and trading business - Assaf and Gulliver - to lead
global banking and markets.
Thierry Roland, head of global banking and markets, Europe--Mr.
Roland would fit more neatly into the mould of former sales and
trading executives leading the division. He has been running GBM in
Europe since July 2018 and took temporary charge of its overall
global markets division in September last year, following the
departure of Thibaut de Roux.
Mr. Roland has been at HSBC since 2000, the year in which it
acquired CCF, the French lender, and has held various roles
including group treasurer, global head of balance sheet management
and head of GBM for the Americas.
Georges Elhedery, head of global markets--The global markets
division at HSBC accounted for more than 40% of total GBM revenues
during the first nine months of 2019. Mr. Elhedery previously led
the bank's Middle East and north Africa business - its
second-biggest region for profits this year - but was installed as
head of global markets in January.
Insiders suggest Mr. Elhedery's sales and trading background
makes him a more obvious candidate to replace Mr. Assaf than other
contenders. He has also held senior roles in London and Tokyo.
Allegra Berman, global co-head of securities services--Ms.
Berman moved into a role co-running HSBC's vast securities services
business in September last year, following the death of Cian Burke
in a cycling accident. At the time, she was emerging as a potential
successor to Matthew Westerman to lead HSBC's global banking
business, according to people familiar with the matter.
Ms. Berman joined the U.K. lender in 2013 from UBS as global
head of its public sector group. She was handed additional
responsibility for its financial institutions group in Europe, the
Middle East and Africa in an investment bank revamp in 2016. Ms.
Berman has consistently been named as one of the most influential
women in European finance by Financial News.
Securities services sits within HSBC's GBM division, and Ms.
Berman's experience running the unit, together with her investment
banking background, would serve her well if she was promoted
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 20, 2019 11:01 ET (16:01 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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