Murthy inducted into HSBC board with emerging market focus

March 3rd, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by admin  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, March 3 (IANS) Global banking major HSBC Holdings Monday inducted Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy as a non-executive director and strengthened its executive board after incurring a record $17.2 billion bad debt charge mainly due to the US sub-prime mortgage crisis. The move to induct Murthy came as the bank, which has 1,500 branches in Britain, announced that it will focus on emerging markets to help it tide over the fallout from the US crisis.

Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of HSBC’s investment bank, and Sandy Flockhart, global head of commercial banking, will join the executive board May 1, taking their place alongside Vincent Cheng, recently appointed chairman of HSBC Asia-Pacific.

“These are three of our most talented and experienced executives - all emerging market specialists,” said group chairman Stephen Green.

Green, chief executive Mike Geoghegan and finance director Douglas Flint are the other three executive directors.

Three members of the non-executive board - Baronness Dunn, Sir Brian Moffat and Lord Butler - are to step down to make way for Murthy and Safra Catz, president and CFO of Oracle.

The British media previously reported that new appointments were being planned to address criticism that the board is not independent enough and that they might eventually lead to the appointment of a non-executive group chairman.

Reinforcing the focus on developing countries Green said Monday: “With significant parts of the international financial system in developed markets still in difficulty, HSBC’s emphasis on faster growing emerging markets means that we are better positioned than many of our competitors,” he added.

He, however, warned that “emerging markets have only partly decoupled from the US … [and] will not be entirely immune from the impact of a US slowdown.”

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