Gordon French is set to become head of Asia-Pacific global banking and markets at HSBC, amid a restructuring that will see his predecessor, Robin Phillips, move to London to head a new client coverage group.
French was previously Asia-Pacific head of global markets and will remain based in Hong Kong. The reorganised global banking and markets structure comprises six divisions: client coverage; markets; capital financing; securities services; payments and cash management; and balance-sheet management.
As global head of client coverage, Phillips and his team will offer “product neutral” advice to HSBC’s global banking and markets clients, while capital products are to be integrated into the financing group under the global leadership of Spencer Lake. A simpler structure will see markets comprising sales and trading, secondary market operations and research, led by Jose-Luis Guerrero. The other divisions will stay the same.
HSBC says that the restructuring of global banking and markets is not a cost-cutting exercise, despite its struggle to reduce costs. The bank raised its cost-efficiency target in May to 55%, up from 53%, and said that it may need to cut a further 14,000 jobs to achieve an extra $3 billion in savings.
A spokesman at the bank says that the changes will help it to improve the way it delivers products to clients, and that this is the core reason for the reogranisation.
“There will be no impact on the overall portfolio of products and services we provide or the clients we serve,” said HSBC in an internal memo announcing the new structure. “And there will be no impact on headcount.”
The structure reflects HSBC’s goal of tying up its various products and services into a single, universal banking product that is easy for clients to understand — and that will allow the bank to maximise the amount of business it wins from each account by cross-selling everything from foreign exchange to mergers and acquisitions.
The restructuring will not affect Patrick Nolan and Mohammad Al Tuwaijri, who will remain as heads of global banking and markets in the Americas and the Middle East and North Africa, respectively.
Kevin Adeson will become vice-chairman of global banking and markets, working closely with sector teams and concentrating on priority client relationships.
All will continue report to Samir Assaf, global head of the business. HSBC also noted in the memo that Phillips will deputise for Assaf when necessary. All the changes will become effective on August 12.