September 25, 2009 - Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc is moving Chief Executive Officer Michael Geoghegan to Hong Kong from London as Europe’s biggest bank increases its focus on emerging markets.
HSBC will still be domiciled in the U.K. and has no plans to move, the bank said today in a statement. Chairman Stephen Green, Chief Financial Officer Douglas Flint and investment banking chief Stuart Gulliver will remain based in London.
“There’s a shift of gravity going from West to East,” Green said on a conference call with journalists. “Nothing about the economic crisis changes that. If anything, it’s being accelerated.”
HSBC plans to expand in China, India and Brazil, among the world’s fastest growing economies over the past decade, to take advantage of increasing demand for banking services. Unlike U.K. rivals Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HSBC avoided a government bailout, even after posting $67 billion of provisions for bad loans in the past 3 1/2 years.
Geoghegan, 55, will take over responsibility for the “evolution of group strategy” from Green, the chairman said.
Geoghegan, who became CEO in May 2006, has worked outside the U.K. for about 29 years of his 36 years with HSBC. He started the bank’s Brazilian unit in 1997 and became head of South American operations in 2000. He also spent eight years in Asia and seven in the Middle East.
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