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Standard Chartered's Winters to seek greater oversight

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Standard Chartered Plc's incoming Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters plans to supervise the bank's regional units more directly than his predecessor did when he assumes the job in a month.

[LONDON] Standard Chartered Plc's incoming Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters plans to supervise the bank's regional units more directly than his predecessor did when he assumes the job in a month.

Mr Winters, 53, has asked the bank's eight regional leaders to report directly to him when he takes over from Peter Sands on June 10, said two people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Mr Winters won't immediately replace former Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas CEO Viswanathan Shankar and ex-Asia head Jaspal Bindra, while he gets to know the bank, the people said.

Standard Chartered hired Mr Winters, a former co-head of JPMorgan Chase & Co's investment bank, to take over after Mr Sands failed to reverse a drop in earnings and a slump in shares over the past two years. The lender, which generates most of its earnings in Asia, is eliminating some 4,000 jobs to help save about US$1.8 billion in costs through 2017.

Standard Chartered's regional CEOs are Diana Layfield for Africa, Julio Rojas for the Americas, Lim Cheng Teck for Southeast Asian nations, Richard Holmes for Europe, Ben Hung for Greater China, Christos Papadopoulos for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, Ajay Kanwal for North East Asia and Sunil Kaushal for South Asia.

They previously reported to Mr Shankar and Mr Bindra, who then communicated with Mr Sands, according to one of the people.

Among the new CEO's first tasks will be forging a new management team after the departure of some of the bank's most senior executives. Mr Shankar and Mr Bindra both stepped down from the board last month and will leave the bank in June, while Chairman John Peace is also set to depart next year.

The shares have risen 13 per cent to 1,047 pence since Mr Winters's appointment was announced on Feb 26, paring some of the lenders 29 per cent fall last year.

Jon Tracey, a spokesman at Standard Chartered in London, declined to comment on the new CEO's plans. Mr Winters didn't reply to an e-mail seeking comment. Mr Bindra and Mr Shankar remain in charge of their regions until they leave and Mr Winters will then "decide the appropriate structure," Mr Tracey said.

Mr Sands and Mr Winters both attended the bank's annual general meeting in London on Wednesday.

BLOOMBERG