Standard Chartered Client Chief Exits as CEO Winters Starts

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Standard Chartered Plc’s group head of corporate and institutional clients, Sean Wallace, is leaving, in one of the first senior executive departures since Bill Winters took over as chief executive officer.

Wallace will leave his Singapore-based role on June 30 after five years in the job, bank spokesman Piers Townsend said by e-mail. Two people, Mark Dowie and James Courtenay, are taking on extra responsibilities, Townsend said.

Wallace’s exit adds to the overhaul in Standard Chartered’s senior management team since Peter Sands announced in February that he would step down. Winters, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. investment banker, is seeking to reverse two years of declining profit and rebuild investor confidence in Standard Chartered, whose stock has dropped 20 percent in London in the past 12 months, the worst performance among Britain’s banks.

“It’s a good indicator that real change is starting to happen at the board and senior management level at Standard Chartered, which is what everyone wants,” said Sandy Chen, an analyst at Cenkos Securities Plc in London with a buy recommendation on the shares. “More evidence comes from Naguib Kheraj being appointed senior independent director just a few days after Winters has taken the reins.”

Shares of the London-based lender jumped as much as 3.3 percent in Hong Kong. Standard Chartered was little changed at 1,030 pence at 9:22 a.m. in London. The shares have gained about 7 percent this year after dropping 29 percent in 2014.

Bindra, Peace

Dowie, vice chairman of clients and products in London, will be responsible for strategic direction for corporate and institutional clients, Townsend said. Courtenay, head of global corporates, will be in charge of day-to-day management of those clients, on an interim basis, while remaining in Singapore.

Along with Sands, Viswanathan Shankar, former Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas CEO, and ex-Asia head Jaspal Bindra, also left this year. John Peace will step down as chairman next year. The bank named Kheraj as senior independent director on Wednesday. Kheraj, a former finance director at Barclays Plc, will lead the search for Peace’s replacement.

Winters, 53, pledged in a letter to employees on June 10, his first day on the job, to focus on capital and returns. He also said he would give details on his senior management team “following the summer” and his broader plans by the year-end.

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