HSBC share price: Axa CEO tipped to become lender’s chair

HSBC share price: Axa CEO tipped to become lender’s chair
Written by:
Michael Catchpole
21st March 2016
Updated: 11th March 2020
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The chief executive of French insurer Axa has emerged as the front-runner to succeed Douglas Flint as chair of HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA), The Sunday Times has revealed. The news comes after Europe’s biggest bank disclosed on Friday that it had started its search for a new chair.

HSBC’s share price closed little changed in the previous session, shedding 0.09 percent to 448.80p, largely in line with losses in the broader London market. The lender’s shares have lost nearly a quarter of their value over the past year.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Henri de Castries, who has run Axa since 2000, was the favourite to succeed HSBC’s chair Douglas Flint. Paul Walsh, the former boss of drinks giant Diageo (LON:DGE), and new HSBC board member is also said to be in the running to succeed Flint. One of the bank’s largest shareholders, however, told the newspaper that he did not view Walsh as the “obvious candidate for chairman”.

The report comes after Flint told the bank’s shareholders on Friday that the Asia-focused lender had started the search for his replacement, with the board aiming to nominate a successor next year. HSBC has signalled that, in a break from tradition, its next chair would be an external candidate. The FTSE 100 lender is also preparing to replace its boss Stuart Gulliver, with Flint’s successor set to lead the process for selecting HSBC’s next CEO.
The Asia-focused bank is set to replace its top executives after recently opting to remain headquartered in the UK following a lengthy review of its domicile. The Financial Times reported yesterday that debt concerns had played a role in the group’s location decision. People with knowledge of the matter told the newspaper that relocating could have triggered a clause forcing HSBC to refinance many of its bonds and other securities on more expensive terms.
As of 07:44 GMT, Monday, 21 March, HSBC Holdings plc share price is 448.80p.

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