Asian Financiers Flex Their Muscles

The region’s top financial executives are exploiting strong growth at home, and many are looking to expand their businesses abroad.


American financial firms are struggling to cope with bad debt and volatile markets, and European banks are worrying about the impact of Greece’s debt woes on their balance sheets and the wider economy, but Asia’s banks, brokerages, insurers and asset managers are enjoying robust growth at home and looking to expand their footprint abroad.

There has been a stunning change of fortunes in the financial industry in recent years. Chinese banks and insurers have supplanted U.S. ones as the world’s largest in market capitalization. Hong Kong has surpassed New York and London as the hottest center of IPO activity. These are just two signs of the growing clout of Asia’s financial sector in the global economy. Increasingly, Asian firms are innovators and leaders in their own right, not merely adopters of Western practices and products.

In Captains of Asian Finance, we put a spotlight on the executives who are leading the industry in the region. To compile this ranking, Institutional Investor asked buy- and sell-side analysts to identify the best financial executives in five sectors and four countries or geographical regions. The list includes many familiar names and some lesser-known. All are making an impact on the industry and are likely to continue to do so.

Profiles of the Top Asian Financiers
Here are profiles of some of the executives who rated highest when buy- and sell-side analysts were asked to choose the top-performing executives in the Asian financial sector.
Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank
Yang Chao, Chairman, China Life Insurance Co.
Nazir Razak, CEO, CIMB Group Holdings
Ma Weihua, President and CEO, China Merchants Bank Co.
Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance Capital
Ra Eung Chan, Chairman, Shinhan Financial Group Co.
Wang Dongming, Chairman, Citic Securities Co.