People Moves APAC: Benetton, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Chubb
In a week where SingPost group CEO Paul Coutts resigns to pursue other opportunities, and HSBC announces the split of its leadership in Asia, with China gaining its own executive lead, we outline the latest executive transitions across Asia-Pacific and across industries, from finance to fashion.
David Liao to oversee HSBC’s operations in China
Following an announcement that HSBC is splitting the leadership of its Asian business as it pins its future on China, David Liao has been appointed as head of operations in China, moving from his current role as Asia head of global banking and markets. Having run the bank’s China business as CEO and President previously for five years, overseeing the expansion of HSBC’s mainland business since 2015, Hong Kong-born and UK-educated Liao has experience in dealing with officials and regulators in the country, and boasts deep knowledge of Chinese markets. Prior to this, Liao ran HSBC’s markets business in China and is known as an advocate of the continued liberalisation of China’s finance sector.
Aymar de Liedekerke Beaufort to head India operations at BNP Paribas
Banking veteran Aymar de Liedekerke Beaufort is promoted to head of territory, India, where in addition to his current role as head of the banks’ eight branches and chief of corporate and institutional banking, he will oversee the French bank’s back office operations and retail brokerage arm in India. Beautfort has been with BNP Paribas for the past three decades, most recently serving as chief executive of the bank’s India branches, and prior to that heading the bank’s operations in Vietnam, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and South Eastern Europe. In this expanded role, Beaumont will “drive Group strategy within our important India operation and enhance our ability to help clients tap the full range of BNP Paribas solutions across our global network”, says Paul Yang, APAC CEO for BNP Paribas.
Jack Siu named CIO of Credit Suisse, Greater China
Hong-Kong-based investment strategist Jack Siu has been named CIO for Greater China at Credit Suisse. With 15 years’ investment management experience, Siu has been with the bank since 2015, most recently serving as senior investment strategist, and prior to this was a portfolio manager at Generali Investments and an investment strategist at Citi. In this role, Siu will be responsible for developing Credit Suisse’s Greater China investment views across various asset classes.
Ramprasad Sridharan named CEO of Benetton India
Seasoned fashion retailer Ramprasad Sridharan has been appointed CEO of Benetton India, the Italian casual wear retailer that’s been in the India market since 1992. Bringing a wealth of experience in the fashion retail sector, having worked in leadership roles at Reebok India, Lerros Fashions India, and most recently as President APAC for footwear retailer Clarks, Sridharan has a “proven track record of building new business, developing brand, driving digital growth and commercial strategy” according to his LinkedIn profile.
Glen Browne appointed Chubb leader
Seasoned executive Glen Browne is appointed Division President, Consumer Lines, Asia-Pacific, a new role in which Browne will oversee the accident and health and personal lines businesses in the region. With 25 years of industry experience, including two decades at Chubb in New Zealand, where he has held a number of leadership roles, most recently serving as Deputy Regional President for APAC and Division President Southeast Asia, Browne has “the perfect blend of leadership and technical skills to steer the teams across the region to achieve our ambitious goals to grow our consumer business”, says Paul McNamee, Chubb’s regional president for APAC.
Could HR technology solve Hong Kong’s culture of overworking
It has long been common practice for employees across the world to work beyond their contracted hours, with staff feeling pressured to put the company’s needs before their own. But this can have a consequential impact on employees’ health, as long working hours create a poor work-life balance and demotivational working environment. This is particularly evident in workforces across Hong Kong, where employees are working an additional 24 hours during the week due to the rising issue of presenteeism. As a result, productivity in the region has dropped, and the health and wellbeing of workers have suffered.
Technological advancements have created a culture where staff feel obliged to be ‘always on’, and respond to calls and e-mails when they’re out of the office. The demand for increased working hours means that businesses are losing capacity through burnt-out staff who are struggling to care for their health while meeting the requirements of their work. Companies in Hong Kong that were once able to retain their staff through an attractive salary package must now consider expanding the perks they offer their workforce that can help support them in achieving a better work-life balance.
Although the UK still has progress to make, workplaces in Hong Kong can learn from businesses in the UK which have made considerable efforts to identify causes of stress at work and taken the steps to reduce these. UK employers are prioritising the wellbeing of their employees and through adopting policies such as flexible working, working from home and offering access to health and wellness tools, they are able to provide enhanced support to their team.
By incorporating a health engagement platform into a human resources strategy, HR leaders in Hong Kong can create a positive working environment and improve morale within their team, as well as encourage and incentivise staff to take action and introduce healthy habits into their daily routines. This will also assist in tackling a disengaged workforce, reducing absenteeism and boosting motivation – all factors that have been a problem in Hong Kong’s working culture.
Employees both in the UK and Asia should also take the steps to look after their own health so they don’t fall victim to burnout. Employers should encourage their staff to take regular breaks throughout their day, whether it’s to practise mindfulness techniques or simply take a walk. Stepping away from their desk and spending time outside will help to reduce stress and clear their mind.
Transforming attitudes to work in Asia is not a straightforward task and it will take time for age-old cultural and business practices to change. However, there are steps businesses can take to aid employees in living a happier, healthier lifestyle. Through implementing a wellness plan, businesses can support their employees in pursuing a healthy work-life balance and encourage them to improve their lifestyle both in and out of work. Not only will this create happier employees, but it will also lead to running a more profitable business as staff take control of their health.