Fuelling rumors that he may eventually replace current group chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, HSBC has appointed UK Chief Executive Antonio Simoes to its group executive board.
Portuguese-born Simoes, aged 40, is the UK’s most prominent gay man in the banking industry. His new title will be Chief Executive of HSBC Bank plc and Chief Executive of Europe. He will take up the new position from 1 September.
News of his promotion comes just days after it was announced that he has also been appointed as the new chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority’s practitioner panel, after being a member of the panel for the past two years.
Simoes joined HSBC in 2007 from consultancy firm McKinsey and has risen through its ranks. In 2013, he topped in the inaugural OutStanding Top 50 of LGBT business people.
He has frequently spoken out about the advantages of being out at work. Earlier this year he told Portuguese newspaper Expresso, ‘Being gay is an advantage for me. It made me a more authentic person with better empathy, better emotional intelligence. If I wasn’t gay, probably I wouldn’t be CEO of the bank.
‘If we want to live in a true meritocracy, the only thing that should matter is what you can do and not what you are.’