DBS Group Holdings Ltd (星展銀行), the biggest Southeast Asian bank, hired Citigroup Inc’s Piyush Gupta as chief executive officer, ending a five-month search for a new leader after predecessor Richard Stanley died.
Gupta, 49, will join DBS in November, and his appointment is subject to regulatory approval, the lender said in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange.
Gupta is Citigroup’s CEO for Southeast Asia-Pacific, the company said.
DBS, whose second-quarter profit fell 15 percent, is turning to Citigroup for a top manager for a second time in less than two years. Stanley, who was Citigroup’s top China banker before DBS hired him in February last year, died this April after being diagnosed with leukemia.
“The focus at DBS has gone back to commercial banking, and the fact that Gupta is a commercial banker shows there will probably be no change in the bank’s strategic direction,” said Tay Chin Seng, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities who rates the stock “neutral.”
DBS rose 2.2 percent to S$12.92 (US$8.96) at 2:30pm in Singapore trading after a stock suspension was lifted. The bank’s shares have rallied 54 percent this year.
“Piyush is strategic, yet detail oriented; and has the ability to nurture high-performing teams,” DBS chairman Koh Boon Hwee said in the release.
Koh, 59, has run DBS since Stanley’s diagnosis in January.
Last month, DBS reported a smaller-than-estimated decline in second-quarter profit to S$552 million as income from stock broking, investment banking and wealth management rose.
DBS has turned to Citigroup for more than managers. The bank helped arrange DBS’ S$4 billion rights offering in December. The Singaporean lender, armed with cash from the sale, is among potential buyers of ING Groep NV’s private banking operations, sources said last week.
Gupta joined Citigroup in India in 1982. He held various executive positions at the lender including head of its Malaysian operations.