Key market themes

Hiring activity in the second half of 2018, relative to the first half, was noticeably slower. For many financial institutions the hiring window closed earlier than in pervious years with global economic and political uncertainty providing the opportunity to hold or slow hiring processes. In some instances market volatility directly impacted the timing of strategic leadership hires. Where hiring activity continued through the latter months of 2018, it remained predominantly across the retail banking, payments, insurance and asset management sectors.

In 2018 legacy IT persisted to frustrate and impede transformation and innovation strategies particularly within established and traditional financial services organizations. We therefore expect sustained demand for senior infrastructure, change management and operations roles through 2019. Similarly with investment in in-house technology transformation, digitization and automation expected to remain a strategic priority for most, demand for specialist technology roles including analytics, robotics, AI and cyber security will also remain high.

2018 saw a continued shift in how established financial services companies are considering financial technology opportunities including increased engagement with fintech start-ups either as strategic partners or as investors. This is driving a need for leadership that can successfully integrate the two, in addition to driving mindset and culture changes across more traditional organizational models. With the incorporation of digital strategy into corporate strategy, we would expect to see increased demand for leadership driving innovation and change at the enterprise level and as such increasingly coming from the business rather than Chief Digital / Chief Innovation Officer communities.

In our last market update we highlighted the broadening of functional roles – notably the COO and CFO roles -and the need for the wider functional leadership community to be more commercially minded and strategically orientated. Where hiring in late 2017 and the first half of 2018 remained predominantly focused on specialist roles within corporate functions (financial control, FP&A within finance; talent, L&D, D&I within HR etc), there has been rising demand at the C-level (CFO, CHRO etc), particularly in country, in the latter part of 2018. Much of this demand has been driven by the need for organizations to upgrade and up skill in-country enablement and control leadership in response to heightened complexity and / or growth opportunity onshore. The need to hire externally continues to highlight limited succession options that many organization face and a need for further development of meaningful succession planning and talent development strategies at the country level.

Hiring at both senior and intermediate levels across legal, risk, compliance and control functions remained steady through the second half of 2018 with hiring at more junior levels tailing off compared to 1H18. Senior hiring activity within legal and compliance remained predominantly within asset and wealth management although risk management hiring has picked up within the broader banking sector. The utilization of technology within governance functions is increasingly a focus, while changing business operating models is leading to greater demand for technology risk and compliance leadership.

2019 seems set to be an interesting year. Demand across a number of enablement, infrastructure and control functions will remain high although ongoing political and economic uncertainty is expected to temper and impact hiring plans in 1H19.


  • Matthew Koder relocates to New York as Bank of America’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Division. Matthew moves from Hong Kong where he was BoA’s Asia Pacific President, he succeeds Christian Meissner. Jiro Seguchi and Jin Su are appointed Co-Presidents of the Asia Pacific region.
  • Geraldine Buckingham is appointed Chair and Head of Asia Pacific for BlackRock. She succeeds Ryan Stock who becomes Deputy Global Chief Operating Officer.
  • Rajeev Mittal joins Fidelity International as Asia CEO. He joins from PineBridge Investments where he was Asia Pacific CEO. Derek Young is appointed President Japan Fidelity International.. They succeed Mark Talbot ,CEO APAC, who has retired.
  • Michael Tsang joins ICAP as Hong Kong CEO. He joins from Symphony where he was Head of Sales.
  • Dan Watkins is appointed CEO Asia Pacific JPMorgan Asset Management. He succeeds Michael Falcon who joins Prudential Plc as CEO of North American Business Unit.
  • Kishore Ponnavolu is appointed President of MetLife Asia Region. He was previously Head of Auto and Home Business in the US.
  • Eric Clurfain becomes President and CEO of MetLife Japan, he was previously MetLife’s EVP and Head of EMEA.
  • Amy Cho joins Schroders as Hong Kong CEO and Regional Head of Intermediary Clients. She joins from Pictet where she was Managing Director and Regional Head of Business Development, APAC ex Japan and General Manager for Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Walter Tas is promoted Head of APAC at Scotiabank, he was previously COO and CFO, APAC.
  • Deniz Guven is appointed CEO of Standard Chartered Virtual Bank. He was previously Managing Director, Digital Banking.
  • Edmund Koh is appointed President of UBS Asia Pacific following Kathy Shih’s retirement announcement.
  • Alex Prout joins Nuveen as Head of International Advisory Services. He was previously CEO Asia Pacific DWS, Deutsche Bank’s asset management subsidiary.
  • Charles Lin is promoted at Vanguard as Head of Asia ex Japan, he was previously Head of Greater China. He succeeds David Cermak who is moving internally to a new mandate.


  • Darryl Ng joins Aberdeen Standard Investments as Regional Head of Internal Audit, Asia Pacific. He joins from Barclays where he was Director, Internal Audit.
  • Richard Poon joins AIA as Regional CFO and Head of Integrated Reporting. He joins from FWD where he was Group Finance Director.
  • Eugene Min joins Blackstone as Managing Director, Finance – Real Estate, Private Equity and Tactical Opportunities. He joins from CLSA Capital Partners where he was CFO; Dean Kwon succeeded Eugene Min as CFO at CLSA Capital Partners. Dean joins from JPMorgan Asset Management where he was Executive Director.
  • Simon Reeves is promoted Global Head of Finance, Multi Asset Solutions at JPMorgan, Asset Management he was previously Regional CFO, Head of Asia Finance and Business Management at JPMorgan Asset Management. He has relocated from Hong Kong to London.
  • Mandy To joins Neuberger Berman as Head of Audit, Asia. She joins from Manulife where she was Director.
  • Robert Quinlivan joins Sun Hung Kai & Company Limited as Group Chief Financial Officer. He was previously with Macquarie Group as CFO, Asia.

Human Resources

  • Richard Raymond joins BNP Paribas as Head of Employee Relations, Asia Pacific. He joins from Bank of America where he was HR Executive, Regulatory Conduct Initiatives.
  • Fanny Chan is appointed Chief Administrative Officer at China Everbright Bank. She was previously Head of HR and Administration Division at China Merchants Securities.
  • Geoff Steeples joins Chubb as Head of Talent Acquisition, Asia Pacific. He joins from Mundipharma where he was Regional HR Director, Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
  • Doug Inamine joins Coupang as SVP, Global HR. He was previously Chief People Officer at Aftershock.
  • Yee Wong joins DBS as VP, Business Human Resources. She joins from Willis Towers Watson where she was Head of HR.
  • Kate Grant is promoted Head of HR and Chief Operating Officer HR Asia Pacific at Deutsche Bank, she was previously HR Chief Operating Officer, Head of HR Digital Transformation, HR Delivery and Near Shore Advisory APAC.
  • Douglas Bagley joins Macquarie Group as Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Asia, he joins from Thomson Reuters where he was Head of Transformation, Asia.
  • Peter Hatt is appointed Greater China North Asia Head of HR at Standard Chartered Bank, he succeeds Nita Law who has retired.
  • Virginia Ng joins Standard Chartered Bank as Head of HR, Support Functions, ITO and Private Banking. She joins from China Everbright where she was HR Director.
  • Hayden Majajas joins PayPal as APAC Head of D&I. He joins from Bloomberg where he was APAC Head of D&I.
    Heline Lam joins Pictet Group as Managing Director, Head of Human Resources Asia. She joins from UBP where she was Head of Human Resources Asia.
  • Amelia Lavery joins Vistra as Head of HR, Asia and Middle East. She joins from CLSA where she was Head of HR, North East Asia.
  • David Chin joins Vistra as Chief HR Officer, his prior experience includes Global and Regional HR roles at UBS and JPMorgan.


  • Pascal Boillat is appointed Group Executive, Enterprise Services and CIO of Commonwealth Bank Australia. He joins from Deutsche Bank and was previously CIO and Head of Operations for Corporate & Investment Banking.
  • Alex Quintieri joins FWD as Group CISO. He joins from AIA where he was Group Head of Cyber Security.
  • David Whiteing joins Standard Chartered Bank as Group COO. He was previously Group Executive and CIO of Commonwealth Bank.
  • Sandeep Kohli joins Standard Chartered Bank as Head of Information and Cyber Risk, Global Banking, Commercial Banking and Corporate Finance. He joins from IAG where he was Head of Cyber, Asia.
  • Kevin Cheung joins PCCW Solutions as Head of Delivery. He was previously General Manager, Greater China Delivery of DXC Technology.
  • Mark Fowler becomes Head of IT Core Systems of Prudential. He was previously CTO and Innovation of AIA (Philam Life) in the Philippines.Yuval Illuz who was Executive General Manager, Chief Information Security & Trust Officer left Commonwealth Bank and joins UVIL Consulting Pty Ltd.
  • Parag Deodhar joins VF Corporation as Director, Information Security, APAC. He joins from AXA where he was Chief Information Security Officer, Asia, Japan and Business Services.


  • George Sun becomes Head of Global Markets, Greater China at BNP Paribas, he was previously the bank’s Head of FX & Local Markets Institutional Sales, Asia Pacific.
  • Daisuke Toki joins BNP Paribas Asset Management as CEO, Japan. He was most recently President and Representative Director of Deutsche Asset Management in Japan.
  • Brian Rooney leaves BNP Paribas Securities Services where he was Regional Head of Sales, Alternatives, relocating to the UK.
  • Margaret Law joins CLS as Head of Client Management APAC. She joins from Northern Trust where she was Head of Client Services.
  • Nancy Cheng joins Citi as Head of APAC Financial Technology, Corporate Banking. She joins from Barclays where she was Head of Global Corporates Coverage & Global Relationship Director, Greater China.
  • Tan Su Shan is appointed Group Head of Institutional Banking for DBS following the announcement of Jeannette Wong’s retirement.
  • Sriram Muthukrishnan joins DBS as Group Head of Global Transaction Services (GTS), Trade Product Management. He joins from HSBC where he was Regional Head of Business Development, APAC – Global Trade & Receivable Finance.
  • Lim Sim is appointed Group Head of Consumer Banking and Wealth Management for DBS while She Tse Koon succeeds him to be the Singapore Country Head.
  • Stephen Fuller joins Generali as Regional Head, Distribution Development, Life/P&C. He joins from AXA where he was Regional Head, Distribution Development.
  • Siddhartha Roy joins HSBC as the Regional Head of Sales, Global Banking Corporates, South East Asia, GLCM. He was the Director of Regional Sales, APAC for Transaction Banking of BNP Paribas before joining.
  • Shivkumar Seerapu is appointed CEO Asia Pacific of Lloyds Banking Group. He is also double hatting as Regional Head of Commercial Banking.
  • Rebecca Tadikonda named Head of Strategic Growth Markets of MetLife Asia. She was previously Chief Strategy Officer in the US.
  • Alan Lin joins Standard Chartered Bank as Global Head of Cash, Transaction Banking. He joins from Citi where he was Greater China Treasury and Trade Solutions Head.

Legal, Risk and Compliance: 

  • Delia Lang joins Allianz Global Investors as APAC General Counsel. She was formerly Chief Legal and Compliance Officer for BMO Financial Group.
  • Alex Eramus joins as Chief Legal Officer in Hong Kong. He joins from Clifford Chance in London where he headed the Financial Institutions Group.
  • Nigel Williams joins Commonwealth Bank Australia as Chief Risk Officer. He joins from ANZ where he was head of institutional banking for ANZ. He succeeds David Cohen who becomes Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
  • Kara Nicholls joins Commonwealth Bank Australia as Company Secretary. She joins from Caltex.
  • Jimmy Chan joins Clifford Chance as a Partner in the Litigation and Disputes Resolution practice. He joins from Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission where he was Director and Head of International and Policy Team within the Enforcement Division.
  • Vincent Wong joins EFG Bank as Head of Compliance from Credit Suisse where he was APAC Head of Private Banking Legal.
  • Virginia Wang is appointed Head of Legal and Compliance Asia for Pictet.
  • Steve Winegar joins Ping An as International General Counsel. He joins from Paul Hastings where he was a Partner and Chair of Hong Kong Office.
  • Yang Eu Jin joins RHTLaw Taylor Wessing as Co-Head of Capital Markets practice. He joins from Overseas Education, an SGX Mainboard-listed company, where he was General Counsel.
  • Barbara Leach-Walters joins Westpac as Group COO, Compliance. She was previously APAC Head of Compliance for State Street.
  • Benedicte Gardner joins Standard Chartered Bank as Global Head, Operational Risk, Functions. She joins from Credit Suisse where she was the Head of Operational Risk Management, APAC.

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