The SFC gave its approval for Aguzin’s appointment on Tuesday after vetting him against its fit and proper criteria.
Hong Kong’s SFC (Securities and Futures Commission) has approved the appointment of Nicolas Aguzin as chief executive of HKEX (Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing).
HKEX announced the Aguzin’s appointment as its new chief last month for a three-year term starting on 24 May 2021, but said it was subject to the SFC’s approval.
Protocol would have been the SFC’s written approval to have been secured first, however HKEX was reportedly forced to make the announcement early after discovering that the news had leaked to a media outlet.
Currently the CEO of JP Morgan’s international private bank and an Argentine native, Aguzin will be HKEX’s first non-Chinese CEO.
He will succeed Charles Li, who led the exchange for 11 years before announcing a decision to step down in September.
HKEX co-president and chief operating officer Calvin Tai was appointed as interim chief executive from effective 1 January 2021, and will stay in the role until Aguzin takes over on 24 May.
The SFC gave its approval for Aguzin’s appointment on Tuesday (2 March) after vetting him against its fit and proper criteria.
“The SFC has taken into account the fact that Hong Kong is an international financial centre, and it makes sense that the best international talent run the local bourse,” an SCMP source said, adding that neither the Beijing nor the Hong Kong governments were involved in the approval process.
As the CEO, Aguzin will need to carefully balance HKEX’s desire to expand globally and attract overseas companies to list in Hong Kong with policy directions emanating from Beijing.
“The appointment of a foreign veteran banker should help strengthen international investors’ confidence in the Hong Kong market,” said Gordon Tsui, chairman of the Hong Kong Securities Association.
“This also shows Beijing wants to maintain Hong Kong as an international market that is open to talent from around the world.”