Oct 12, 2017

HSBC makes what looks to be the safe choice with Flint call

To some HSBC investors and former colleagues, John Flint is a "Safe pair of hands" and a "Very solid choice" to be the bank's next chief executive. Some observers believe the board's decision to continue its 150-year tradition of appointing chief executives from within its ranks is a sign that it will stick broadly to the current strategy shaped by CEO Stuart Gulliver and former chairman Douglas Flint, who is not related to John. In a memo to staff on Thursday, Mr Flint recalled the start of his HSBC career: "I asked my headmaster at school for advice," he said. A few years later, after he had earned his degree, Mr Flint was accepted into the bank's "International officer" programme, which fast-tracks promising graduates by rotating them through a series of challenging roles around the globe. Mr Flint showed a keen eye for risk when, as treasurer, he raised the alarm about the state of markets and called for the bank to increase its liquidity levels on the eve of the financial crisis in July 2007.

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