By Elaine Yu
HONG KONG -- HSBC Holdings PLC on Monday said its Asia-Pacific CEO Peter Wong is retiring and it has appointed two veteran bankers to take over the running of its business in the region.
The London-headquartered banking giant named David Liao and Surendra Rosha as Asia-Pacific co-CEOs with immediate effect, giving them oversight of a business that is HSBC's biggest profit generator.
Mr. Wong, who held the top job in Asia for 11 years, has moved to a nonexecutive role. He will serve as chairman of HSBC Asia-Pacific, replacing Laura Cha, who is also departing the board of HSBC Holdings. Ms. Cha chairs the board of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.
Mr. Liao was most recently head of global banking in the Asia-Pacific region, while Mr. Rosha was the bank's top executive in India. Both are veteran bankers who have worked at HSBC for more than two decades each and held a variety of roles in investment banking, capital markets and other areas. Mr. Liao also used to be president and CEO of HSBC China.
The duo will be based in Hong Kong and report directly to HSBC CEO Noel Quinn. They will also join HSBC's executive committee and sit on the board of the Asia-Pacific business.
The leadership reshuffle comes at an important juncture for HSBC, which has been caught up in geopolitical tensions between China and the West and is pivoting its business to focus more on customers in Hong Kong and mainland China.
The bank recently mapped out plans to exit most of its unprofitable U.S. retail banking operations and has committed to investing $6 billion into Asia over the next five years. It is expanding in wealth management, international wholesale banking and other activities in the region.
The 69-year-old Mr. Wong will serve as an adviser to HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker and Mr. Quinn, the bank said Monday.
HSBC, in a statement, thanked Mr. Wong and Ms. Cha for their contributions to the bank. It said that under Mr. Wong's leadership, revenue from Asia grew substantially even as markets underwent rapid change.
Last June, as China's top lawmakers drafted national-security legislation for Hong Kong to quell dissent in the restive city, Mr. Wong was photographed signing a petition in support of the law at a street booth. His action was seen as putting HSBC on Beijing's side in its attempt to tighten its grip over Hong Kong.
Write to Elaine Yu at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires