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Northeast Asia

HKMA needs a new boss: expect an inside job

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is looking for a new chief executive to replace Norman Chan later this year, but if history is any guide, don’t expect it to look very far.

Norman Chan, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, is planning to retire on October 1, exactly a decade after he took the job, so the HKMA now has only a few months to find a successor.

Paul Chan, Hong Kong’s financial secretary, is chairing the committee that will look for the next chief executive. The other members of the committee are: Victor Fung, chairman of Li & Fung and a business adviser to the government; Lawrence Lau, a leading Hong Kong economist; Brian Stevenson, a non-executive director of the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation; and Joseph Yam, who ran the HKMA for more than 16 years before Chan took the helm.

Norman-Chan-HKMA-160x186

Norman Chan,
HKMA

They will be competing against another central bank that is on the lookout for new talent: the UK is looking to replace Mark Carney, the Canadian who has run the Bank of England since 2013 and who is due to leave in January 2020.

Will the HKMA be looking at the same candidates that the BoE is considering? That seems unlikely. The BoE’s clear willingness to hire a foreigner for the top job has led to speculation in the UK press about who might replace Carney, with suggestions ranging from Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, to Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF.