In a move that surprised many analysts last week, Standard Chartered hired Andy Halford to take over as its Group Finance Director and Group Executive Director, a move that confuses many as Halford has no banking or Asia experience. Halford, a 15-year veteran of Vodafone, left the company in March looking to bring his experience of technology and business to banks seeking those talents.
Said Christopher Wheeler, an analyst at Mediobanca. “This does seem a very odd hire, he’s missing two elements, which are experience of banking and Asia…Lots of things are going on at StanChart that we don’t really understand.”
Being paid a salary of £850,000 plus a fixed pay allowance of $700,000 in shares, Halford will be eligible for a maximum bonus of £2.5 million.
Mr. Halford joined Vodafone in 1999 and worked under its CEO Arun Sarin during that time. He was in charge of finances for Verizon Wireless in the United States before becoming the finance chief in 2005. On June 16, 2014, he will join StanChart for a two-week induction before replacing Richard Meddings, the current and soon to be former financial officer.
“Andy is an outstanding finance director with deep experience of managing a complex, international business dynamic and changing markets,” said Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive. Standard Chartered makes more than 90% of its income from Africa, Asia and the Middle East and recently reported its first fall of profits leading many investors to frustration.
This fall in profit is surprising, considering Standard Chartered came through the 2008 financial crisis moderately unharmed; yet slower progress is projected in the coming years. Already, its profits are down by 18% since 2013.