Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Global CEO of the Year Award Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered

5 min read

By The Asian Banker

The exceptional leadership and strategic vision of Bill Winters have been the driving force behind the strong financial performance of Standard Chartered (StanChart) in 2022. It saw a 15% increase in both operating income of $16 billion and profit before tax of $4.8 billion, with a 6% growth in income over cost that will allow the bank to further its strategic investment programmes. The momentum was maintained through to the first quarter of 2023 as income grew 13% to reach $4.4 billion, the highest quarterly income so far. 

He’s laser-focused on driving improvements in return on tangible equity across all business areas that led to improved returns to shareholders. The return on tangible equity of StanChart was up from 3% in 2020 to 8% in 2022, above pre-pandemic levels, and reached 11.9% in the first quarter of 2023 against the 10% goal for the year. This was accompanied by a $1 billion share buyback that will further help achieve the return on shareholder value target. 

While gains were partly buoyed by higher interest rates, they were also supported by greater discipline in capital and cost management, as well as strategic investments. Despite the current bank liquidity crisis, Winters further strengthened StanChart’s capital and liquidity positions. 

Winters guided StanChart to improve profitability and return on risk-weighted assets in the corporate banking business by more than 6.5% by reducing over $20 billion in risk-asset burden from the year before.

The profitability of the retail banking business grew by 30%, driven by the affluent segment and unsecured consumer credit.

His unwavering focus on growth in emerging markets, especially in Asia, enabled StanChart to tap into the growth potential of the region. Profit before tax in Asia grew 8% in 2022 to $3.6 billion, or 75% of the group’s total.

Winters was also instrumental in progressively shifting to the cloud, building banking and platform-as-a-service ventures, and creating new business models such as Nexus and Audax. Under his leadership, StanChart launched digital-only banks such as Mox in Hong Kong and Trust in Singapore, which also contributed to the digital transformation of the bank.

Under his leadership, StanChart helped clients stay the course in the transition to a net-zero environment. In 2022, the bank generated $500 million in income from sustainable finance, half of the $1 billion target set for 2025.

The award for Global CEO of the Year goes to Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, Bill Winters. 

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