HSBC Global Asset Management has appointed Puneet Chaddha, chief executive for India, as CEO for Singapore and head of Southeast Asia, the latter being a newly created role. Sources suggest the move does not bode well for third-party fund providers to HSBC's retail and private bank.
Chaddha will start in the post on November 1, succeeding Kalen Lim, who has held the role since June 2013 and will move to another senior position within HSBC.
Chaddha is a career India veteran, having been with the group there since 1993, on the banking as well as asset management side. This should help him formulate distribution strategy, say industry observers, though some feel his lack of direct experience of the Asean markets might be an obstacle.
Chaddha has held India CEO role since March 2011, before which he was head of commercial banking for India at HSBC. He has been with the bank since 1993. His successor will be announced in due course.
He will support the wealth management and investment needs of HSBC's key clients across retail, commercial, corporate, institutional and private banking, primarily in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The bank has a presence in all five markets, but no retail network in Thailand.
HSBC seems to be looking to drive more sales of its own asset management products through its own distribution channels, says a Hong Kong-based recruiter. This reflects a broad trend for banks and insurers to boost their fund manufacturing capabilities and sales through proprietary channels, he adds.
WIth this in mind, he adds, the appointment makes sense, as Chaddha will have a strong understanding of how HSBC works, and particularly of how the bank consumes and distributes products. “However, it probably doesn’t send a strong message to third-party fund providers.”
These views would seem to be reinforced by the business set-up. Chaddha will report to Pedro Bastos, Asia-Pacific CEO of HSBC Global AM, and also to Matthew Colebrook, HSBC’s Singapore head of retail banking and wealth management.
Invited to comment on these points, an HSBC spokesman would only say: “Asia offers significant growth potential in our asset management business thanks to the dynamic economic growth and rising affluence in the region, particularly in Asean.
“With our unrivalled footprint in Asia, Puneet's appointment will enable us to further build our capabilities to bolster our ambitions to be the largest asset manager in Asia.”
In a statement on Chadda's appointment, Bastos said: “Puneet has been with the HSBC Group for over two decades and has worked in several of our global businesses. He has successfully transformed the business in India in line with HSBC’s commercial and governance strategy.”
Colebrook added: “HSBC’s retail strategy is to use our international network to capture the wealth flows and people-to-people links between the faster-growing markets. Singapore's sophisticated and world-class wealth and asset management sector makes it the nexus for wealth flows within Southeast Asia.”