In a move that left even well-placed investment bankers somewhat stunned, highly-successful bank chief, Alex Au has resigned as CEO of OCBC Bank.
Au says he will return to his native Hong Kong, where his family still resides.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Singapore," says Au "and have been privileged to work with an excellent team of colleagues to drive the progress of OCBC Bank. This culminated recently with the successful acquisition of Keppel Capital Holdings, which ranks as one of the highlights of my 32-year career in banking."
On the subject of the latter, and with what might most charitably be called 'uncanny' timing, FinanceAsia's October issue (out today) features Au on the cover: Our cover story is titled 'How Au kickstarted change in Singapore banking' and tells the inside story of OCBC's successful takeover of Keppel Capital and what made it possible.
Please, however, ignore the Editorial leader 'Singapore scrabble' which makes the erroneous assumption that Au would still be at OCBC when it hit your desk. Although, we must confess that our phrase "Hong Kong looks the next step for Au" was rather a prescient prediction, although at the time of writing it was intended to mean buying a bank in Hong Kong looks to be the next step, as opposed to relocating.