Date
18 November 2017
Standard Chartered's chief executive Peter Sands has received a vote of confidence from the lender's board. Photo: Bloomberg
Standard Chartered's chief executive Peter Sands has received a vote of confidence from the lender's board. Photo: Bloomberg

StanChart board backs management despite investor pressure

Standard Chartered Plc. (02888.HK) has confirmed that its board has expressed full confidence in the leadership of group chairman John Peace and chief executive Peter Sands and that it will not bow to external pressure to replace the two, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.

Responding to rumors in the media on succession planning for the top posts, the bank issued a statement saying that its board wants to make “absolutely clear that it is united in its support of both Peter Sands and Sir John Peace, and the management team, in delivering the refreshed strategy, restoring the bank to profitable growth and delivering returns for our shareholders”, the report said.

The bank also made it clear that it rejects the media rumors regarding succession planning. It said there is no such initiative in the wake of recent investor pressure, although robust and considered succession plans are in place for all the senior leaders.

It is unlikely that Sands will be replaced in a year’s time, but an early decision on his successor can soothe the uncertainty for market players, the report quoted James Antos, research head at Mizuho Securities Asia, as saying.

The Financial Times had reported earlier, citing sources, that Peace had called for a replacement, either internal or external, of Sands in the next 12 months, and that Peace himself might resign after a new chief executive takes the reins.

The issue has come to fore as Temasek Holdings, the Singapore state-owned investment company that owns about 18 percent of StanChart, has been pressing for a clearer succession plan, FT noted. Aberdeen Asset Management, another stakeholder, also wants Sands replaced.

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