Banking & Finance

Citi’s Hong Kong chief, Weber Lo, quits to join non-financial firm

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 March, 2018, 10:39am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2018, 11:38pm

The Hong Kong head of banking giant Citi, Weber Lo, has resigned to join a non-financial firm, according to an internal email seen by the South China Morning Post.

He will join a company in the Greater China region, according to Francisco Aristeguieta, chief executive of Citi Group Asia, who sent the email to all Citi staff in Hong Kong to inform them of Lo’s departure on Thursday night.

Lo will officially step down from his position as Citi’s country officer and chief executive of Hong Kong and Macau on May 1.

“While I am sorry to see Weber leave after a successful career at Citi, he explained he wants to take up the challenge of a leading a company in a different industry. It is also a family decision to stay in Hong Kong permanently, ” Aristeguieta said in the email.

“While moving into a new industry may be daunting for many, Weber was eager to move out of his comfort zone,” he added.

He said the bank will now identify a successor for Lo. 

Lo is not a typical career banker. He was born and grew up in Hong Kong, graduating from university in 1993 with a degree in social science. He started his career at consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble before moving to Coca Cola in China.

He joined a start-up briefly at the turn of the century, but the firm went bust shortly after the dotcom bubble burst. It led him to join Citi in 2000 as head of Citigold in the global consumer group. Lo rose through the ranks and was promoted to his current post as Citi country officer and chief executive of Hong Kong and Macau in 2013.

Under his leadership, the team moved its headquarters across the harbour from Central to East Kowloon in 2016, where it houses 3,200 staff, making it the first major bank to do so. His achievement was persuading Citi’s US headquarters to allow the bank to spend HK$5.42 billion on the new building in Kowloon East. It was the largest single office building transaction in Hong Kong at that time.