HSBC names Wells Fargo’s McGeough as new European investment bank chief

HSBC has hired the former head of Wells Fargo’s international business to lead its European investment banking unit as 32-year veteran Philippe Henry steps down.

Lisa McGeough is joining the UK lender as head of global banking for Europe, according to an internal memo seen by Financial News and confirmed by a bank spokesman. The appointment ends an external search for Henry, who announced his intention to retire from the bank in February.

McGeough, one of the most senior female bankers in the City who has previously featured on the FN 100 most influential women in Europe list, will start at HSBC in June, reporting into global banking and markets co-head, Greg Guyett, and HSBC’s European CEO, Colin Bell.

She joins HSBC after a 15-year career at Wells Fargo, where she was latterly head of its international business in the City, and has previously co-headed its corporate and investment banking business. She has also worked at Morgan Stanley, Toronto Dominion Securities and Citigroup in both markets and leveraged finance roles.

“Lisa will lead client coverage across Europe and oversee the regional product teams, as well as first-line risk management, specifically credit, reputational, compliance and financial crime,” the memo said.

READ HSBC’s European investment bank chief Philippe Henry to step down after 32 years

McGeough will replace Henry, who is set to step back from the bank later this year. Henry, a 32-year veteran of the bank, was more recently an instrumental figure in HSBC’s Brexit planning and more recently had been handed responsibility for an ambitious new project at the bank to help finance and distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

It was a very different time, and I was told things like ‘girls can’t trade,’ when I expressed my desire to pursue that path

Starting out on the trading floor in the 1980s as a 21-year-old, McGeough has spoken previously about the sexism she faced in a male-dominated world.

“It was a very different time, and I was told things like ‘girls can’t trade,’ when I expressed my desire to pursue that path,” she told a Wells Fargo blog. “So I started off in sales, while still learning as much about trading as I could.”

McGeough has three children, and said she took five years out of the industry before returning in the mid-1990s. She joins HSBC as the bank is embarking on a new flexible working push, with most of the bank’s employees expected to follow a hybrid working pattern.

READ HSBC launches investment unit with 35 dealmakers as part of ESG push

HSBC’s top executives including CEO Noel Quinn have given up their offices on the 42nd floor of its Canary Wharf headquarters as the UK lender looks to reduce its real estate footprint by 40%.

McGeough is a key senior appointment at HSBC in London as the UK lender has started to shift senior executives from the City to Asia. Guyett is set to move to Hong Kong, along with Nuno Matos, chief executive of wealth and personal banking, Barry O’Byrne, chief executive of global commercial banking, meaning key leadership roles have shifted to the region.

As part of the latest changes, McGeough will take responsibility for HSBC’s institutional client group (ICG) and public sector teams globally, meaning heads of the units Simon Derrick and Michael Ellam will report into her.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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