Meet the woman who’s quietly been handed one of HSBC’s toughest jobs

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Meet the woman who’s quietly been handed one of HSBC’s toughest jobs

Last week Hossein Zaimi, HSBC's Hong Kong-based global equities chief, decided to leave the bank after 17 years. This week we learned that his replacement is Franck Lacour, HSBC’s French markets chief.

Amid this male reshuffling, an Asian woman has quietly landed a big promotion in HSBC’s equities team. Lacour’s appointment rather overshadowed the fact that HSBC veteran Selene Chong has been named as deputy global head of equities, and head of equities for Asia Pacific.

Chong will remain based in Hong Kong, in a clear signal of the continued importance of that city to HSBC’s global equities operations.

She steps into her new job having performed several high-profile roles for the bank in Hong Kong. Chong spent the past four and a half years as head of FX and commodities for APAC, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to that she did an 18-month stint as head of Greater China corporate sales, and head of corporate risk solutions APAC.

Chong made managing director at HSBC in 2011 when she was appointed global head of FX structuring. She became global head of FX options three years later.

The University of British Columbia graduate held various structuring positions at HSBC between 2001 and 2011, and worked for the bank in London, New York and Hong Kong.

Like the rest of the senior equities leadership team, Chong now has a lot of decisions on her plate, potentially including further trimming down the size of the unit. CEO Noel Quinn has recently suggested that February's equities redundancies may be inadequate in the face of the pandemic, raising the possibility of a revised plan and further equities cuts later in 2020 and into 2021. In the first quarter, HSBC’s equities trading revenues fell 23%, to $289m.

Speaking to FX Markets in late 2017, Chong laid out her approach to client service and said HSBC had no ambition to chase volume purely for the sake of market share: “It’s very important for us that we add value for clients, [and] we provide solutions considering their holistic hedging, investment and banking needs. We are not just there to provide execution to clients; we want to service them fully and provide thought leadership at the same time,” she said.

Image credit: unsplash

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