Outgoing OCBC CEO Samuel Tsien to be adviser to bank's board upon retirement

Mr Samuel Tsien, 66, will retire as OCBC director and CEO after 14 years with the bank.
Mr Samuel Tsien, 66, will retire as OCBC director and CEO after 14 years with the bank.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - OCBC's outgoing group chief executive officer (CEO) Samuel Tsien will be appointed as adviser to the board upon his retirement as director and CEO, the bank said in a regulatory filing on Thursday (March 25).

In January, OCBC announced that Mr Tsien, 66, will retire after 14 years with the bank. He was appointed to the board in 2014 and as CEO in 2012.

Ms Helen Wong, former CEO of HSBC in Greater China, will take over as the new group CEO from April 15. The 59-year-old will also be the first woman to head a Singapore bank.

The banking veteran joined OCBC in February last year as deputy president and head of global wholesale banking. Ms Wong's experience in investment and corporate banking includes that of heading the debt capital markets business in Greater China.

She started her career in banking with OCBC in 1984, and was its first China desk manager. After returning in 2020, she led a new sustainability task force said to be in line with her keen interest in sustainability.

OCBC has been steadily expanding its regional presence under Mr Tsien's leadership, with successful acquisitions over the years.

He joined OCBC in July 2007 as global head of global corporate bank and became group CEO five years later.

OCBC's Wing Hang Bank acquisition in 2014 was the largest takeover it its history. In the five years post-acquisition, the bank saw a tripling of its Greater China earnings contribution.

In 2016, OCBC's private banking arm, Bank of Singapore, also acquired the wealth and investment management business of Barclays in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The following year, the bank bought the retail and wealth business in Singapore and Hong Kong of Australia's largest business bank, National Australia Bank.

OCBC shares closed up one cent to $11.62 on Thursday.