A former Goldman Sachs financier who has shaken up HSBC Holdings’ (LON:HSBA) investment bank has emerged as a contender for the top job at the Asia-focused lender, The Telegraph has reported. The news comes as Europe’s biggest bank searches for a successor to Stuart Gulliver who is expected to step down next year.
HSBC’s share price has gained ground in London in today’s session, having climbed 0.73 percent to 739.20p as of 13:30 BST. The stock is slightly outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.47 percent higher at 7,412.85 points. The group’s shares have added more than 54 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some 12 percent in the year-to-date.
The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Matthew Westerman was increasingly viewed in City circles as a challenger to succeed Stuart Gulliver at the helm of HSBC. While he joined from Goldman in February last year, he has already overhauled HSBC’s investment bank, cutting some top financiers and revamping the division to snatch business away from European rivals. The newspaper adds that Westerman also has the Asian experience which is considered key for running the bank, having spent three years as Goldman’s most senior ¬financier in the region.
The news comes after a report in Bloomberg recently suggested that HSBC had approached Peter Hancock, the former boss of American International Group, for the top job, with the FTSE 100 lender’s incoming chairman Mark Tucker considering both internal and external candidates for the CEO position.
In analyst news, Morgan Stanley, which sees HSBC as a ‘buy,’ set a price target of 850p on the stock today. According to MarketBeat, the Asia-focused bank currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 659p.