HSBC Insurance Chief to Step Down

By and | September 13, 2011

HSBC’s global head of insurance, David Fried, is to step down next month, people familiar with the matter said.

Fried will be replaced by Marcelo Teixeira, currently head of insurance in Latin America, one of the people said.

Fried has been chief executive of insurance since April 2010 and will retire on Oct. 1, the sources said. He has been with the bank for more than two decades and was previously head of HSBC Insurance for Asia Pacific.

HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank with an increasing focus on Asia and other emerging markets, declined to comment.

HSBC says it is one of the world’s most profitable insurers, with the unit making a pretax profit of $3.3 billion in 2010, up from $2.5 billion in 2009. It has 6,500 staff and about 20 million policyholders.

Net earned insurance premiums rose to $6.7 billion in the first half of this year from $5.7 billion a year earlier, driven by growing demand for life insurance products.

HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver is restructuring the bank to strip away non-core units, and he has launched the sale of its non-life insurance business, sources told Reuters on Monday, which could fetch about $1 billion.

HSBC has sent out an information memorandum to potential buyers, with first round bids due by mid-October, sources said.

The bank also sold three insurance businesses in the first half of this year.

HSBC’s insurance business includes direct, reinsurance, life and general insurance. It is now under retail banking and wealth management, headed by Paul Thurston.

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