CITIC Ka Wah Bank has appointed Andrew Hemm to be it chief credit and risk officer, as well as an executive vice president. He will be based at the bank's Hong Kong headquarters.

The move comes as local banks seek to boost their risk management credentials with the onset of the new Basel II capital accords. These accords will dictate how much capital banks will have to set aside, based on the risks they run on their books. As such the role of credit risk officers and risk management professionals is becoming more and more important.

Hemm is an old hand in the region's banking markets. He started his career in 1986 with Security Pacific National Bank before moving over to Standard Chartered, where he specialized in credit and risk management.

Most recently he was in the interim management team that US private equity group Newbridge assembled in its abortive bid to buy Shenzhen Development Bank.

"At CITIC Ka Wah, we take a prudent and conservative approach to risk, underpinning it with strong professionalism and a risk function independent from the business groups," says Doreen Chan, CEO of CITIC Ka Wah. "The appointment of Mr Hemm reflects our commitment to further enhance our capabilities in this integral part of our business."