OCBC Bank appoints first female group CEO

Helen Wong's experiences and expertise extend beyond corporate banking, Greater China, and North Asia.

Darryl Laiu | January 09, 2021, 11:06 AM

On Jan. 8, OCBC Bank (OCBC) announced the appointment of Helen Wong as Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Wong will succeed Samuel Tsien on Apr. 15, and will become OCBC's first female group CEO.

She is also the first woman to head a Singapore bank.

The Chairman of OCBC Bank, Ooi Sang Kuang, said: "Helen's experiences and expertise extend beyond corporate banking, Greater China and North Asia."

"We are confident that Helen will be able to lead the OCBC group to greater heights in an increasingly complex and challenging environment."

Started her career in OCBC

Wong had started her career in OCBC in 1984, and was the bank's first China Desk Manager.

In her 37-year career, she has also worked in various capacities in investment banking and corporate banking in other firms.

From 2015 to 2019, she was Chief Executive, Greater China at HSBC bank. She then rejoined OCBC in Feb. 2020 as Deputy President and Head of Global Wholesale Banking.

On accepting her new role, Wong said:

"I am deeply honoured to be succeeding Sam, who is highly regarded and respected, not just in Singapore's banking industry, but also regionally.

Although Covid-19 struck fiercely at the economy and impacted many lives and livelihoods, we navigated the storm deftly thanks to Sam's leadership, the team's united efforts and the Board's guidance.

The team and I will now continue to build on OCBC's strong foundations to further entrench it as a leading and progressive regional financial institution."

Top image from adapted from Wikipedia Commons and OCBC.