HSBC announces portfolio changes that affect a number of Hong Kong-based jobs and creates a new commercial banking role.
The moves seem to be precipitated by the decision to elevate Conrado Engel to the role of chief executive officer and president of the bank's Brazil business. Engel is currently regional director of personal financial services for HSBC in Asia-Pacific, based in Hong Kong. He has held this position since early 2007 and was also appointed group general manager in mid-2008. This move takes Engel back to Brazil, where he was previously an executive director.
Meanwhile, Shaun Wallis, who has been CEO and president of HSBC Bank in Brazil since May 2008, is moving to Hong Kong to become global head of business management for commercial banking. This is a newly created role which includes developing a commercial banking head office for the group to "further enhance the consistency and globalisation of HSBC's commercial banking business", the bank says in a written statement.
Commercial banking in Asia is a thrust area for a number of banks, but also one where banks have seen write-offs as companies in the region have been adversely affected both by the slowdown in demand for goods and services, and by the credit markets drying up. HSBC is rumoured to be one of three shortlisted bidders for the Royal Bank of Scotland's Asia businesses, which are up for sale. Sources say a potential acquisition would be attractive for HSBC primarily because it would deepen the bank's retail penetration and branch network and also serve to further consolidate its position in commercial banking.
Louisa Cheang will be promoted to Engel's present job, broadening her current role as head of personal financial services for Hong Kong. Cheang joined HSBC in 1999 and has been in her current role since July 2007.
Cheang's current job will be given to Francesca McDonagh, who will transfer to Hong Kong from Panama. McDonagh currently heads personal financial services for Panama and is also responsible for the overall retail banking strategy.
Meanwhile, Simon Vaughan Johnson will depart Hong Kong for Dubai where he will take on the role of regional head of commercial banking. Vaughan Johnson has been senior executive global commercial banking based in Hong Kong since August 2007. In his new role, he will be responsible for growth across all commercial banking segments in the Middle East, a region the bank describes in the statement as "strategically critical and valuable".