HSBC in Hong Kong makes new appointment for critical APAC leadership role

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HSBC in Hong Kong makes new appointment for critical APAC leadership role

HSBC has appointed Kai Yang has its chief data officer (CDO) for Asia Pacific. Yang, a 16-year Commonwealth Bank of Australia veteran who was most recently that firm’s Sydney-based group chief data officer, joined HSBC in Hong Kong yesterday, according to an HSBC spokesperson.

Yang reports into Rakshit Kapoor, HSBC’s London-based group chief data officer. He replaces Tarrill Baker, who has been on an eight-month sabbatical since October and will return in a different position, which has yet to be disclosed. Lily Tang, who was the interim CDO while HSBC recruited Yang, is now continuing her permanent role as APAC transformation lead for data services.

The responsibilities of Yang’s new CDO job include delivering group data strategy, “accelerating data enablement” to support business objectives, working with regulatory and compliance teams, and interfacing with regulators regarding data management, according to an internal email from Kapoor last year announcing Baker’s departure.

It’s no great surprise that HSBC hired Yang from overseas. As we reported throughout 2019, banks in Hong Kong and Singapore are struggling to find enough locally based senior leaders to spearhead their data strategies.

While rank-and-file data analysts and scientists typically slot into their respective functions straight after graduating, Yang’s career suggests it’s possible to transition into a managerial data job having worked in another part of the same bank.

Before moving into his first pure-play data role (general manager of analytics strategy and advisory) at CBA in 2017, Yang was the chief risk officer at CommInsure, the firm’s insurance arm, which it is selling to AIA. He started his career at CBA in 2003 as a manager in group market risk, and has since held several senior positions, including general manager, balance sheet and specialist advisory (2010 to 2016), a job that involved risk analytics, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Yang’s hire is not the only senior move in the data field in Asia recently. In September, Standard Chartered hired Singapore-based Hussain Thameezdeen as head of data quality and data analytics. HSBC has also been expanding its data ranks in Singapore. As we reported in August, it recruited Shuguo Han from BNY Mellon into a data science role in its Singaporean innovation lab.

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