HSBC is shaking up its board of directors.
The bank has appointed two major business leaders to the board, adding ex-Diageo CEO Paul Walsh, along with AXA’s chairman and chief executive Henri de Castries.
Both will join HSBC’s board as non-executive directors.
In a regulatory filing on Friday morning, Flint welcomed the additions, saying: “Their extensive international business experience and track record in shaping growing businesses, including undertaking business portfolio realignments, will further strengthen the existing skills on the HSBC Board.”
Walsh was chief executive of Diageo for 13 years between 2000 and 2013, while De Castries, who is a count in his native France, has headed up AXA since 2000.
HSBC also confirmed that three directors will be leaving the bank. Rona Fairhead, Sir Simon Robertson, and Safra Catz will all step down within the next year.
Less than two weeks ago, as the bank announced its Q3 results, chairman Douglas Flint denied any dissatisfaction with the board. A report in the Financial Times claimed that Flint told reporters “I can’t see why anyone would want to change horses midcourse of a strategy that has been well received,” adding that HSBC had “the best management team in banking”.
HSBC was recently found to have one of the most gender diverse boards in the FTSE 100, but the departure of two female directors will hurt this position.
According to the Financial Times, the appointments reflect a desire from shareholders to refresh the bank, which has seen revenues fall each year for the last four, and shares struggle to sustain growth. Shares are down by 4.65% since this time in 2011, despite growing by as much as 36% in 2013. Shares in the company are down around 1% today.
Here’s how the shares have performed over the last decade:
HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm was embroiled in the scandal earlier this year when it was found that it had helped super wealthy clients avoid taxes, and was investigated for what prosecutors called “suspected aggravated money laundering.
The bank is currently reviewing whether or not to leave the UK, and move its headquarters back to Hong Kong, or to New York.
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