HSBC Phils. Elects Filipino CEO

In what could be described as the virtual Filipinization of one of the oldest foreign banks operating in the country, HSBC Plc has appointed Jose Arnulfo "Wick" Veloso as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its Philippine operations

Veloso is the first Filipino to steer HSBC-Philippines. He replaces current CEO Tony Cripps, who will head the bank's Australian operation. Veloso, who is presently the Managing Director, treasurer and head the global markets, will assume his new position on December 24, 2012.

"Veloso will be the first Filipino CEO for HSBC Philippines in its 137 years of operations in the country," a statement from HSBC said yesterday.

Also announced yesterday were the appointments of Dondi Baltazar, currently Senior Vice President and Head of Trading in the Philippines, as the new Head of Global Markets for the Philippines, and Corrie Dela Cruz-Purisima as the new Head of Global Banking and concurrent Head of Debt Capital Markets.

Generosa Pio de Roda will head the retail and wealth management sector of the bank. The commercial operations is currently headed by Mimi Concha.

Veloso affirmed that "technically, the movement is a virtual Filipinization of the bank as all major positions and business areas, in the past, have been held by British nationals."

With all these changes and movements, Veloso said Filipinos are on top of "all revenue makers" of the bank.

While he felt "honored," Veloso admitted that on a personal note "it is a huge responsibility in being the first appointed Filipino to take on the CEO role for HSBC in the Philippines."

At the same time, Veloso told Manila Bulletin that he looks forward to his new responsibility. "I am excited to be able to lead an exceptionally dedicated and talented team to take the group's Philippine business forward."

Veloso brings with him 26 years of experience, particularly in the treasury and markets business. In the last 18 years with HSBC, he has held a variety of key domestic and regional roles, including Head of Asian Local Currency Debt Trading and Head of Credit Derivatives for Asia Pacific. He has also undertaken a number of overseas attachments in HSBC offices in London, New York, Tokyo Singapore, Korea and Pakistan.

Under his supervision, HSBC's Debt Capital Market competence has been acknowledged, making the bank one of the preferred arrangers and/or book runners of corporate and institutional clients as well as state agencies and the national government in their fund-raising campaigns.

Financial magazines such EuroMoney, The Asset and AsiaMoney have cited HSBC as the "Best Debt House in the Philippines" in 2010, 2008/2009 and "Best Sovereign Bond" for the Republic of the Philippines Global Bonds due 2019, respectively.

Veloso, outside of HSBC, is also very active in industry concerns and issues. He serves as vice chairman of the Open Market Committee of the Bankers Association of the Philippines, and was a past President of the Money Market Association of the Philippines. He also currently sits on the Market Governance Board of the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp., and has been a longtime member of ACI (Assosacion Cambiste Internationale) Philippines, where he served as its 2006 World Congress Organising Committee Chairman.

Veloso has prominent associations with past and present administrations. At several times in the past, his name has been shortlisted whenever the national treasurer position is vacated. He never accepted any of the offered high-ranked government positions since as he commented years ago, he could do much more as a private sector mover.

HSBC has transacted many of the Philippine global bonds issuances.