Feb 27, 2015

    Winters will be new StanChart CEO


    STANDARD Chartered said former JPMorgan investment bank boss Bill Winters will take over as chief executive in June to replace Peter Sands, after investors demanded change at the helm following two years of problems.

    Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered said yesterday that chairman John Peace will also leave next year, and named other changes to its board in a massive overhaul in management following problems ranging from a United States fine for breaking sanctions to a jump in losses from commodities loans.

    Mr Winters, 53, is one of the most respected bankers in the industry and has wide experience in investment banking and regulatory issues. Standard Chartered shares jumped 3 per cent on the news of the appointment.

    He will join the Standard Chartered board in May and take over from Mr Sands the following month, and be based in London where he has lived for the past 22 years.

    Mr Winters joined JPMorgan in 1983 as a trainee in New York and moved up the ranks to become co-CEO of its investment bank from 2004 to 2009, when he left following a falling out with CEO Jamie Dimon.

    Mr Winters then became one of five members of a British government commission that analysed how banks could be made structurally safer. The panel's recommendations that firms should separate their domestic retail banking operations is being implemented.

    "Bill is a globally respected banker and has the right experience and skills to drive the group's new phase of growth," said Mr Peace, who said he will remain in his role until next year to help Mr Winters' transition.

    Investors started calling for change at the top of Standard Chartered last year, citing strategic, governance and operational mistakes, and saying Mr Sands had been slow to address problems and had not gone far enough in cutting costs.

    Three of the bank's top 30 investors told Reuters in December that Mr Sands should be replaced this year.

    A former McKinsey consultant, Mr Sands, 53, steered Standard Chartered through the 2008 financial crisis, helping it to 10 years of record earnings. He has been CEO for eight years.

    Some investors have urged the bank to make wider changes in the board, and it said yesterday that Jaspal Bindra, CEO of its Asia business, will also leave this year after 16 years with the bank.

    It said a further three longstanding directors will step down - Ruth Markland, Paul Skinner and Oliver Stocken - and said two new directors will join the board: Gay Huey Evans and Jasmine Whitbread.

    Standard Chartered last month said it would close a swathe of its global equities business and axe 2,000 jobs around the world this year, as it tries to make savings of US$400 million (S$540 million) as part of a structural overhaul.

    The bank, which makes 90 per cent of its profits in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, saw its net earnings fall 16 per cent for 2013 as it faced increased competition in Asia and troubles turning around its South Korean unit.

    In August, US regulators hit it with a US$300 million fine and restrictions on its dollar-clearing business for failing to detect possible money-laundering.