HSBC announces flurry of senior appointments

The bank appoints a new global co-head of commercial banking and CEOs for Korea and the Middle East.

In a series of high-level announcements this week, HSBC has appointed John Coverdale as global co-head of commercial banking and named new CEOs for its businesses in the Middle East and Korea.

Coverdale will be based in Hong Kong and will start his new job on April 6. He will oversee HSBC's relationships with middle market corporates and small- and medium-sized enterprises in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

He is currently managing director of SABB (a local affiliate of HSBC in Saudi Arabia), deputy chairman of HSBC in Saudi Arabia and a board member of SABB Takaful (a publicly traded joint venture between HSBC and SABB). During his career with HSBC, Coverdale has worked in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. He joined the bank in 1977.

Coverdale will replace Margaret Leung, who has moved on to the role of vice-chairman and chief executive of Hang Seng Bank, another HSBC subsidiary.

As one HSBC banker leaves the Middle East, another is flown in. According to a separate statement, Simon Cooper has been appointed CEO of HSBC Bank Middle East. Cooper is currently CEO of HSBC in Korea -- a position that will now be filled by Matthew Deakin who will re-locate from Panama where he has been in charge of the integration of recently acquired Grupo Banistmo.

Before Cooper assumed his Seoul-based role in March 2006, he was head of corporate and investment banking in Singapore, and prior to that, head of corporate and investment banking in Thailand. He is a Cambridge law graduate who joined the bank in 1989.
Deakin has been with HSBC for 20 years and has worked in the UK, Mexico and Panama.

Another company in the group, HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia), has also received a new CEO, Zainudin bin Ishak. HSBC Amanah is the global Islamic banking division of the HSBC Group, responsible for developing Islamic banking products. It was established in 1998 and has regional offices in the UK, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Brunei.
The announcements come after HSBC on Monday reported net earnings of $5.73 billion for 2008, much lower than consensus analyst estimates thanks to an unexpected $10 billion charge on goodwill for its consumer finance unit in the US. The bank also launched a £12.5 billion ($17.7 billion) rights issue to shore up its capital base.

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