The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

Stephen Williams: HSBC’s gentleman for all seasons retires

When Stephen Williams joined HSBC more than 20 years ago, the bank was a backmarker in Asian debt markets. When he retires next month, he leaves it top of the heap.

Stephen-Williams-HSBC-960.jpg

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Those words from novelist LP Hartley came to mind on discovering that Stephen Williams will retire in July.

The quietly spoken UK banker’s career spanned two financial crises – one Asian in origin; the other Western in nature and global in reach – and winds down as we emerge from a pandemic that has rewritten the rules of finance and recast the role of the state.

Williams moved to Hong Kong in 1994 after studying geography at Cambridge. He joined JPMorgan as head of credit research before jumping ship to UBS, where he was made Asia head of debt capital markets, dividing his time between Singapore and Hong Kong.

Asia was a different place then. To most international lenders, it was a backwater studded with a few success stories.

Southeast Asia was still recovering from having the ground so brutally cut out from under its feet in the Asian financial crisis of 1997/98.

Talking of feet, back then China was still finding its own. When Williams joined HSBC in 2000 as Asia head of DCM – a position that steadily evolved into leading the bank’s entire Asia financing platform – its economy was a quarter the size of Japan’s, and an eighth the size of the US's.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree