AIA Names Ng Keng Hooi Chief Executive as Tucker Joins HSBCBy
Ng joined AIA in 2010, is currently regional chief executive
AIA shares decline in Hong Kong trading; HSBC shares gain
AIA Group Ltd. named Ng Keng Hooi as chief executive officer, replacing Mark Tucker who is leaving the Asian insurer to become chairman of HSBC Holdings Plc.
Ng, 62, joined AIA in 2010, and was previously CEO of Great Eastern Holdings Ltd., and held leadership roles at Prudential Plc. He is currently AIA’s regional chief executive and has been appointed CEO-designate with immediate effect. He will succeed Tucker on Sept. 1, the Hong Kong-based insurer said in a statement on Monday.
Tucker, 59, will start as HSBC chairman Oct. 1, where he will be tasked with finding a replacement for CEO Stuart Gulliver.
AIA shares fell as much as 3.3 percent in Hong Kong trading, the biggest intraday decline in three months. They were down 2.6 percent at HK$49.00 at 11:37 a.m. local time. HSBC shares rose 1.8 percent.
In the past six years, AIA’s value of new business, a measure of future profitability of new policies, has more than quadrupled, climbing to $2.75 billion in the fiscal year ended Nov. 30.
That growth may start to slow, in part because China has imposed fresh measures to stem capital outflows, including tightening rules governing Hong Kong insurance sales.
AIA shares slumped late last year after China UnionPay Co. halted credit and debit card payments for most insurance policies in Hong Kong, as China tightened scrutiny over such purchases in the city in a bid to curb capital outflows. The stock has since rebounded, to be up 12 percent this year, even after today’s losses.
The transition to Ng, “should be manageable for AIA,” Morgan Stanley analyst Jenny Jiang wrote in a note to clients Monday. “His deep knowledge about the company and his proven leadership could ensure a smooth transition and a continuity of AIA’s current strategies.”
Ng “will add a level of ‘consolidation’ to the portfolio,” said Jan van der Schalk, head of insurance and diversified financials in CLSA’s Sydney office. “It’s not that growth will be deemphasized, merely that after seven years of rapid growth there’s also an opportunity to see how the book is developing. I foresee a more rounded organization going forward, which will be even better for investors.”
— With assistance by Bei Hu