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Bilderberg Chairman Henri de Castries from AXA to head HSBC

 
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kevink
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:14 am    Post subject: Bilderberg Chairman Henri de Castries from AXA to head HSBC Reply with quote

de Castries moves from AXA to perhaps HSBC
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/03/21/axa-chief-executive-quits-after-16-years/

Axa chief executive quits after 16 years
Sponsored by HSBC (! You couldn't make it up)

Marion Dakers, financial services editor 21 MARCH 2016 • 2:28PM
Henri de Castries is stepping down as chairman and chief executive of Axa after 16 years in charge of the French insurance institution.

De Castries, a well-connected member of French society who also chairs the Bilderberg Group of business leaders, will leave the firm in September.

The insurer will now split its most senior roles, with the chief executive post at the €52bn firm going to Thomas Buberl, who joined from rival insurer Zurich in 2012. Denis Duverne, who is currently deputy chief executive, will become non-executive chairman.

While the departure was not expected, Mr de Castries said preparations for his retirement had been several years in the making.

“The succession planning process initiated by the board upon my request in October 2013, confirmed the breadth and the quality of Axa’s teams and helped us identify a new generation of leaders,” said Mr de Castries. "Denis and I are extremely proud of the team we have been able to build and develop."

Mr de Castries joined Axa in 1989 after studying at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration alongside François Hollande and Ségolène Royal and spending several years in the French civil service. He took over from Claude Bebear as chief executive in 2000.

His name has been linked to the chairmanship of HSBC. Douglas Flint has signalled that he will step down within the next two years. De Castries has been on the board of the UK bank since the start of March.

Axa has pulled back from the British life insurance market in recent years but still runs a sizeable general insurance business. The group hired Barclays last year to explore selling more of its UK operations including its wealth manager.

The group has also pushed into numerous emerging markets across Africa, Latin America and Asia, and last year vowed to sell out of its fossil fuel investments as part of an effort to address the impact of climate change.

The departure of Mr de Castries is the latest in a growing line of exits from the top jobs of insurance companies. Old Mutual, Prudential, Admiral and Zurich are among the firms to have hired new bosses within the last year.

Analysis: Could HSBC pick de Castries as its next chairman?

While both boardrooms have been working on these moves for many months, the news that Henri de Castries would be leaving Axa has come just days after HSBC kicked off the search for a new chairman to replace Douglas Flint.

De Castries only joined the HSBC board at the start of March, but already shares HSBC’s priorities, having built up Axa in emerging markets such as Latin America while rowing back from European growth that proved elusive.

His keen interest in Asian business would also be a mark in his favour with the Anglo-Asian bank's nominations committee. Axa has expanded rapidly into China’s nascent insurance market and he also sits on the advisory board of Tsinghua University’s business school.

"He is in a learning phase now and could step up next year,” one HSBC shareholder told Reuters.

HSBC’S recruitment process is being overseen by Sam Laidlaw, the ex-boss of Centrica, and Rachel Lomax, formerly of the Bank of England. Mr Flint wrote to investors last week to say he would stay on until his successor was appointed, mostly likely in 2017.

The bank is keen to hire from outside its usual pool of HSBC veterans for the chairman’s post. Other candidates in the running include Paul Walsh, the former Diageo boss who joined the board at the same time as de Castries.

HSBC, while it has decided to keep its headquarters in the UK after years of wrangling with a move to Hong Kong, also has one eye on the forthcoming EU referendum. It is hatching plans to shift around 1,000 jobs to the French capital if Britain does vote to leave, in which case having a Parisian chairing the board could prove useful.

However, de Castries has tried to dampen the speculation that he was the man for the job, telling journalists that "I haven't taken part in a single board meeting at HSBC yet, I will do that next month...I'm a board member. I'm proud of it, that's it".
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....The Sunday Times also reported that Henri de Castries, Axa's current chief executive, was hotly tipped as Flint's replacement.
De Castries, who first joined Axa in 1989 and has held the chief executive role since 2010, joined the board of HSBC as a non-executive director in March. In the same month, de Castries announced that he would be stepping down from his role at the French insurer in September...
http://www.cityam.com/239007/hsbcs-chief-executive-stuart-gulliver-standing-down-in-two-years-with-axas-henri-de-castries-hotly-tipped-as-new-chairman
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