HSBC is relocating Sandy Flockhart, president and group managing director in Latin America and the Caribbean, from Mexico to Hong Kong to take on its senior most operating position in Asia.
In his Latin American role, Flockhart helped to build a business comprising 4,000 offices in 14 countries which contributed $1.7 billion to group profits last year.
Flockhart has held the position for less than a year, suggesting HSBC was certainly taken by surprise when Michael Smith resigned from the Asia post earlier this month. Flockhart used to be the chief executive of Mexico, before he was promoted to the regional job, and his replacement in Mexico, Paul Thurston, was only named as recently as March. Thurston was previously the head of HSBCÆs personal financial services business in Asia.
Flockhart has worked in the Asia region before, as CEO of HSBC Thailand from 1992 to 1994 and earlier in his career in Hong Kong where he spent 12 years. He also has experience in the Middle East heading HSBCÆs 40%-owned associate the Saudi British Bank headquartered in Riyadh.
ôSandy has a great track record in building businesses in emerging markets and considerable experience of our operations in Asia,ö says Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive.
Flockhart termed his appointment ôa privilegeö and said Asia was spiritual home to HSBC. He is a lawyer by training who joined HSBC in 1974.