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Standard Chartered restructures operations, targets $1.8b costs savings

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standardCharteredBankStandard Chartered Plc said it has restructured its business units, which it described as “simplification of its organisational structure”, aimed at improving accountability, speed up decision-making and reduce bureaucracy.

The policy direction, according to the lender, would also play a key part in delivering the previously planned $1.8 billion cost savings initiative by the end of 2017.

Already, the Group has unveiled a new management team to drive the plans, led by Bill Winters as Group Chief Executive, charged with plans to address the future performance of the Group by the year end, and put in place the new structure.

The Group’s new geographical structure will rationalise the eight existing regions into four new regional businesses- Greater China and North Asia, made up of Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, under Ben Hung.

The second is ASEAN and South Asia- Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh, led by Ajay Kanwal; followed by Africa and Middle East, which includes Southern, West and East Africa- Pakistan and the UAE, under Sunil Kaushal.

The fourth is Europe and Americas- United Kingdom and the United States, led by Tracy Clarke.

The “simplified organisational structure” which will be effective from October 1, 2015, will be fully in place by January 1, 2016, together with Group’s financial reporting, which will be based on the new structure.

Speaking on the new regional and business structure, Winters, said: “The Group needs to kick-start performance, reduce its cost base and bureaucracy, improve accountability, and speed up decision making. The new structure will help achieve all of these critical objectives and will be in place as we communicate a comprehensive plan to address the Group’s performance by the year end.

“I am working with a talented and experienced management team to create a bank that delivers strong returns and sustainable profitability.”

The Group also said that from October 1, 2015, Kaushal, currently India CEO, will move to his new role as Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East, while a new CEO for India will be appointed in due course, who will however, report to Kanwal, the new regional CEO, from October 1, 2015.

Under the new structure, the Group’s current client businesses supported by five product groups will be simplified, with each product now reporting into the client segment with which it has the most relevant connection.

For example, the Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) will include transaction banking, corporate finance and financial markets, led led by Mark Dowie, while Commercial and Private Banking will include wealth management, under Anna Marrs, and Retail Banking will take charge of retail products, led by Karen Fawcett.

While CIB will operate as a global business, Retail and Commercial Banking will be run on a country basis, with regional oversight, with client and product strategy delivered by smaller and more efficient central teams under Karen Fawcett and Anna Marrs respectively. 

Meanwhile, the current Chief Executive Officer Africa, Diana Layfield, will be leaving the bank, after being with the Group for over 10 years in various senior management roles, and in the last four years has successfully led the bank’s Africa business to record both organic and inorganic growth.

Layfield has through the years, overseen strategic investments in Africa, including capability enhancing acquisitions such as First Africa, a boutique merger and acquisition consultancy, and the Barclays Africa and Absa Bank South Africa custody busi


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