Feb 23, 2018

John Flint: the HSBC lifer who quietly made his way to the top

Studious, and humble are all words that investors and colleagues of John Flint have used to describe HSBC's new chief executive, who took charge of Europe's biggest bank by assets this week. People who know Mr Flint well say that behind the bookish 49-year-old's low-key image lurks a ruthless streak that has helped him to rise quietly to one of the most powerful jobs in banking. Having replaced Stuart Gulliver only hours after HSBC published its annual results on Tuesday, Mr Flint will need all his stamina to stay on top of a bank that has $2.5tn of assets in 67 countries and has been criticised for being "Too big to manage". One area of likely change is asset management, in which HSBC has long been seen as sub-scale and Mr Flint says it is exploring all options. Having worked his entire 28-year career at HSBC - which he joined as part of its "International officer" graduate programme - and most recently headed its retail banking and wealth management business for five years, Mr Flint is well-equipped to handle these issues.

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