This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

HSBC's Geoghegan to Quit by Year-End

Michael Geoghegan is to step down as chief executive of HSBC (HBC) at the end of the year, according to two people close to the bank's board.

He will be replaced by Stuart Gulliver, head of the group's investment bank.

At the same time, Douglas Flint will take over as chairman from Stephen Green, who announced a fortnight ago that he will take up a government job in January as the U.K. trade minister. The double changeover at the head of the global banking group follows a turbulent two weeks of jostling for position among board members, following Green's announcement.

HSBC employees said they were looking forward to a conclusion to the succession process.

"Most of us are assuming it's going to be Gulliver," said an HSBC executive in Hong Kong on Friday. "People will be happy to see him move up." The bank's shares opened 1.4% lower at HK$80 but later recovered to HK$80.70.

If confirmed at next week's board meeting, Gulliver's appointment would mark the second elevation of a highly paid investment banker in as many weeks, following news that Bob Diamond, the boss of Barclays (BCS) investment bank, is to be the group's next chief executive.

The HSBC succession process, which is being led by senior independent director Sir Simon Robertson, has caused surprising rifts in the boardroom and has a different outcome to the one first envisaged. When Sir Simon began his succession planning several months ago, there were two main contenders for the chairman's job -- Geoghegan and former Goldman Sachs executive and HSBC non-executive director John Thornton.

But the prospect of the top job being filled by Thornton, a strong character unlikely to play a low-key oversight role as chairman, appears to have rankled Geoghegan.

Two people close to the board told the Financial Times earlier this week that Geoghegan had threatened to resign if he was not made chairman and if Thornton secured the role instead, a report which the bank denied as "nonsense".

One person close to the board said on Thursday it was now 90% certain Flint and Gulliver would be the new top team. Another said it was "a done deal", which would be rubberstamped at board meetings taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday in Shanghai.

Bankers said the dramatic goings-on at the top of HSBC were totally out of character with the group's reputation for smooth, quiet, consensus-based management. "This is insane," said one. "It's like a nest of vipers."

Although such a dramatic overhaul at the top of HSBC could concern investors, one senior London banker who knows HSBC well said they should be pleased with the outcome. "Flint and Gulliver would be a spectacular combination. It would be the dream ticket."

Stock quotes in this article: HBC, BCS 
null

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,424.85 +162.29 1.00%
S&P 500 1,862.31 +19.33 1.05%
NASDAQ 4,086.2250 +52.0640 1.29%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs