StanChart picks ex-JPMorgan executive Winters as CEO in major overhaul

Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:37pm EST
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By Steve Slater and Lawrence White

LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote) said former JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote) investment bank boss Bill Winters will take over as chief executive in June, replacing Peter Sands in a major management overhaul following two years of problems.

Investors had been pushing for a change at the helm of the Asia-focused bank citing strategic, governance and operational mistakes, and saying Sands had been slow to address troubles including a U.S. fine for breaking sanctions to losses on commodities loans.

Winters, 53, is currently CEO of the Renshaw Bay hedge fund he founded and is one of the most respected bankers in the industry. He has wide experience of investment banking and regulatory issues.

The bank's two biggest shareholders, Singapore sovereign fund Temasek and Aberdeen Asset Management - who own more than 25 percent between them - welcomed the changes which will also see Chairman John Peace leave next year.

"From what we know at this point, this is an amazingly astute choice," said Jim Antos, a Hong-Kong based analyst at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd.

Antos said Winters could force "real change" at the bank and has strong credibility with U.S. and UK regulators, "which is exactly what the bank needs."

Standard Chartered shares jumped 5 percent on the news of the appointment before trimming gains amid concerns the bank is now more likely to launch a rights issue to address concerns about its capital strength.

By 1244 GMT (7:44 a.m. EST) Standard Chartered shares were up 3 percent at 956 pence. They have fallen 30 percent since the start of 2013.   Continued...

An office worker walks past a Standard Chartered logo outside its head office in Singapore January 8, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su