Financial technology, the growing disrupter of the banking industry, has now lured Standard Chartered's global head of capital markets solutions.
Zuo Lesi, a managing director in charge of Standard Chartered’s capital markets and structured financing business in Hong Kong, has told FinanceAsia that he’s leaving the bank this Friday to begin a new journey backed by China’s internet and mobile giant Tencent Holdings.
“The impact that fintech has on traditional banking is huge and coming in a rapid way," Zuo said in a phone interview. "After working such a long time in banking, I am excited to explore how fintech facilitates and changes the way finance works."
Zuo, who will work in both Hong Kong and Shenzhen to tap into the rising opportunities in mainland China, is leaving the mainstream banking industry after a 20-year career to start up a new fintech venture focused on asset management and asset-backed securities. He declined to provide a name for the new venture because it has yet to be officially launched.
Zuo has been with Standard Chartered since 2002, during which time he completed billions of dollars' worth of securitisation transactions for Chinese banks such as China Construction Bank, ICBC and China Merchant Bank and worked on cross-border structured bond and structured real estate financing. Before that, Zuo worked at Bank of America and ABN AMRO.
Kenneth Kwan, executive director of the capital markets solutions group, has been appointed as interim head to take over Zuo’s responsibilities at Standard Chartered.
StanChart has experienced a few difficult years since the bank abandoned its loss-making global equities business in January 2015. The UK-based emerging markets bank closed its global institutional cash equities, equity research, and equity capital markets operations.
In November, it also acknowledged that it was under investigation by Hong Kong's securities regulator over a 2009 initial public offering – one of several banks in the watchdog's crosshairs.