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RBS Hires Sherry Liu From JPMorgan as Chairman, CEO in China

Sherry Liu, chairman and CEO of RBS China
Sherry Liu, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in China. Source: Royal Bank of Scotland Group via Bloomberg

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s biggest government-owned lender, hired Sherry Liu from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as chairman and chief executive officer of the bank in China.

Liu, previously chairman of China Financial Institutions at JPMorgan, will be responsible for overseeing and driving the bank’s business strategy in China and its various joint ventures, according to an e-mailed statement.

The appointment demonstrates RBS’s “continuing focus on building our corporate and investment banking business both in and outside of China,” Asia-Pacific Chairman John McCormick said. “RBS recognizes the importance of success in China as critical to our business performance in Asia-Pacific.”

RBS Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester said yesterday growth in Asia is crucial for the bank, which posted a net loss of 1.1 billion pounds ($1.79 billion) for 2010 and has pledged to return to profit this year. RBS, which is 83 percent owned by the government, expects to triple its private banking assets in India over the coming five years.

“We see across Asia a significant set of opportunities as the economies develop, as the domestic markets get bigger and as the two-way flows of capital and expertise become more important,” Hester said in an interview in Singapore yesterday.

There are more than 500 million people in Asia with a net worth of $10,000 to $100,000 and financial services revenue from that segment of society is expected to grow by as much as 15 percent a year in most countries, Credit Suisse Group AG’s 2010 Global Wealth Report said. The combined wealth of millionaires in the region will grow 8.8 percent annually until 2018, compared with a global average of 7.1 percent, a report by Capgemini SA and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management found.

Liu will report to McCormick and Matthew Kirkby, the bank’s regional head of global banking, according to the statement. She will also join the global banking Asia-Pacific management team, it said.

Edinburgh-based RBS, which established a presence in China in 1903, operates there through a locally-incorporated bank headquartered in Shanghai that has five branches around the country and 500 employees.

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