HSBC adds new Islamic finance global markets posts

William Ross is HSBCÆs first global markets co-head of Islamic finance.
 William Ross
William Ross

HSBC has appointed William Ross as its first global markets co-head of Islamic finance, part of a larger plan to extend its global markets capabilities into shar'iah compliant structures.

In what is to be a two-person role, Hong Kong-based Ross will focus on Islamic liabilities, including liquidity and risk management. HSBC has yet to appoint the other co-head but said that the person would focus on Islamic assets. The new positions are the first related to Islamic finance in the bank's Hong Kong global markets team.

Ross retains oversight responsibility of his former managing director and Asia-Pacific head of financing solutions group role. While he remains part of HSBC's global markets division, reporting to Asia-Pacific head of debt capital markets Stephen Williams in Hong Kong, he also reports to Mukhtar Hussain, Kuala Lumpur-based chief executive of the bank's Islamic subsidiary HSBC Amanah. Ross's appointment is effective immediately.

"[This] appointment demonstrates HSBC's commitment to evolving, developing and growing the Islamic banking business," said Williams in a statement. "[Ross] will be responsible for bringing together existing initiatives and cultivating globally from a product and market share perspective."

The appointment comes only four months after HSBC Amanah promoted Hussain to the chief executive role. He replaced Irene Dorner who became president and chief executive of HSBC Bank USA.

Islamic finance is bound by shar'iah -- Islamic law -- which forbids participants from paying interest and investing in certain business activities, most notably gambling and liquor-related enterprises.

Ross joined HSBC in 2005 as managing director and Asia-Pacific head of asset-backed securities and structured bonds from ABN AMRO where he was global head of asset securitisation research. Prior to that, he worked in various positions with Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan.

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