Hong Leong Bank Bhd. (HLBK), the Malaysian lender controlled by billionaire Quek Leng Chan, named former DBS Group Holdings Ltd. banker Tan Kong Khoon as chief executive officer effective today.
Tan, a 56-year-old Singaporean who headed DBS’s consumer banking operations, will replace Yvonne Chia, who retired last month after heading Malaysia’s fourth-largest lender by market value for the past decade, Hong Leong said in a stock exchange filing in Kuala Lumpur today.
“We believe that he will inject the new thinking and fresh ideas needed to implement innovative and modern strategies,” Raymond Choong, CEO of parent Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd. (HLFG), said in a separate statement.
Tan started his career in 1981 at DBS before helping oversee consumer banking businesses for lenders including Standard Chartered Plc. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) in Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, according to information posted on DBS’s website. He will head Hong Leong at a time of intensifying competition as local lenders merge and foreign rivals get Malaysian commercial licenses.
Tan was head of retail banking and wealth management, Hong Kong and Northeast Asia, at ANZ Bank before re-joining DBS in 2010. He was also CEO of Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya Pcl (BAY) from 2007 to 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Hong Leong shares have fallen 3.3 percent this year, trailing a 5.1 percent gain in the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index. The stock closed up 2.9 percent at 14.30 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur today.
To contact the reporter on this story: Chong Pooi Koon in Kuala Lumpur at firstname.lastname@example.org