Standard Chartered’s longtime CFO, Andy Halford, is retiring, and the bank has hired a veteran of Bank of America and Goldman Sachs to succeed him.
Diego De Giorgi, who served as global head of investment banking at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch between 2013 and 2019, joins StanChart on Friday as CFO designate, the bank said Thursday in a release.
De Giorgi is expected to be appointed CFO and join StanChart’s board as an executive director in the first quarter of 2024, pending regulatory approval, the bank said.
Halford, who has served as StanChart’s CFO since 2014, will continue as a senior adviser to the bank until he retires Aug. 31, 2024.
“After nearly ten years restoring the Bank’s operational and financial performance to its previous levels and now with a demonstrable momentum in the business, it is the right time to pass the [CFO] role to a new leader,” Halford said Thursday in a statement. “I am sure Diego will add a new dimension when he comes into the … role.”
Flat revenues dominated Halford’s tenure at StanChart, a British lender with a strong focus on Africa and Asia. But the bank in July announced a $1 billion share buyback and upgraded its annual profit forecast, signaling perhaps an upward trajectory. StanChart’s stock value, too, has fallen roughly 30% since 2015.
Halford’s departure spurs questions as to the retirement timeline of StanChart C-suite stalwart: CEO Bill Winters.
De Giorgi’s background in investment banking could hint that StanChart may groom him to succeed Winters, Joe Dickerson, a Jefferies analyst, told Reuters. Winters has told the wire service he intends to stay until at least 2024, when the bank aims to deliver double-digit returns.
In a statement Thursday, Winters praised De Giorgi for his “strong business experience, deep commercial acumen, strategic expertise and leadership skills” and thanked Halford for being “instrumental in shaping and driving the strategic direction of the company in his time here.”
Since leaving Merrill Lynch, De Giorgi spent a year as a non-executive director at Italian lender UniCredit and, until May, served as co-CEO of Pegasus Europe, a special-purpose acquisition company.
De Giorgi also spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs in various roles, including as head of European equity capital markets, head of European financial institutions and, later, as chief operating officer of investment banking.
“I look forward to helping maximize the great potential of Standard Chartered while maintaining financial discipline and capital strength,” De Giorgi said Thursday.