HSBC has appointed an internal candidate to lead its markets division as it seeks to bolster the unit following the sudden departure of the previous executive in charge.
The bank said it had promoted Georges Elhedery as its next head of global markets, the division that houses the bank’s equities, bonds and currency trading operations. His appointment follows the departure of predecessor Thibaut de Roux, who retired in September last year following four years in the role.
Mr Elhedery will relocate to London from Dubai, where he is the chief executive of the bank’s operations in the Middle East, north Africa and Turkey, according to a memo seen by the Financial Times, which said the appointment was subject to regulatory approval.
Mr Elhedery will lead a division that generated $5.2bn of revenues in the first nine months of 2018, a decline of 6 per cent on the same period of 2017.
He takes the helm as the banking industry grapples with poor performance across its trading floors, especially in fixed-income products such as bonds, foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives.
Following a market rout at the end of 2018, most of the major US banks reported a double-digit decline in fixed-income trading revenue for the fourth quarter, compared with the previous year. Analysts expect HSBC to have suffered a similar fate when it posts its earnings next month.
The appointment of Mr Elhedery comes at a time of upheaval for HSBC’s global banking and markets division, which accounted for 30 per cent of revenues in the first nine months of last year.
The division has had to contend with the high-profile departure of Matthew Westerman, a former Goldman Sachs banker, who left his job as co-head of the investment bank in November after just 18 months in the role. His departure came three months after HSBC lost its top UK dealmaker, Philip Noblet.
A subsequent leaked memo purportedly written by anonymous HSBC executives claimed that the investment bank’s performance was “appalling” and that the company’s strategy for the unit had “utterly failed”.
Mr Elhedery joined HSBC in 2005 after working for Paribas and Goldman Sachs, and has held several senior jobs for the Asia-focused bank in Dubai and London, where he was head of the company’s structured rates unit.
Since Mr de Roux’s departure, the global markets business has been led on an acting basis by Thierry Roland, head of the division’s European operations.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Thierry for his support and for showing great leadership in global markets during the past few months,” said Samir Assaf, HSBC’s head of global banking and markets, who signed the memo.
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