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Transcript of FS' remarks (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, on the appointment of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority today (July 17):

Financial Secretary: Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to announce the appointment of Mr Norman Chan as the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) with effect from October 1 this year.

     Norman has previously worked in HKMA, and has a deep understanding of the operation of Hong Kong's financial markets and banking supervision.  He is also familiar with the conditions of the international financial market and markets in the Mainland.

     He will be able to assist me in managing the Exchange Fund effectively.  He can also offer sound professional advice to me in respect of our monetary policy and market operations.

     Norman possesses wide experience in public administration and is familiar with the operation of the Government.  He is the right person for the job.

     I shall now give you a full account of the appointment process and the decisions as I have promised earlier.

     Mr Joseph Yam and I reached consensus back in August 2007 that Joseph's appointment as the Chief Executive of HKMA would end in September 2009.

     I subsequently asked the Governance Sub-Committee of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee to study experiences overseas and advise me on the duration of the term of office of the new Chief Executive of HKMA.  The Sub-Committee reverted to me in July 2008.

     In August 2008, I invited Dr Victor Fung, Dr Marvin Cheung and Sir John Bond to recommend to me suitable candidates for the post.  I also invited Mr Martin Tang, a retired human resource specialist, to assist them in their work.

     The group completed their task towards the end of 2008. They have altogether considered 39 persons from HKMA, regulatory agencies, banks, academia and government, and shortlisted eight people in order of priority.  Norman came top of the list.

     In February this year, I invited the Governance Sub-Committee to make recommendations on the new Chief Executive of HKMA's remuneration and conditions of service.  The Sub-Committee gave me their recommendations in March this year.  After considering the views of the Sub-Committee, I sounded Norman out in May this year, and I formally offered him the position on July 10.  On the same day, Norman accepted the appointment.

     As to the new HKMA Chief Executive's appointment, and his terms and conditions of service, I have decided to make the following new arrangements :

(1) fix the term of appointment at five years:

(2) set the annual fixed pay at $6 million, applicable throughout the five-year term.  The maximum level of the performance linked variable pay will be set at $1.5 million for the first year.  The total pay will be reduced by 32% as compared with that of the incumbent; and

(3) extend the post-termination employment control period from six months to one year;

     Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to thank Joseph for his contributions over the years to Hong Kong, and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Reporter: What are the qualities that set Mr Chan apart from his competitors? ... And secondly, ... why didníŽt you only extend ... given the concern that there is ...

Financial Secretary: The first question I have already stated , the criteria, and Norman fits those criteria, and it is the small group that helped advise me on the appointment, went through all the different candidates and it felt that he was the best candidate for the job and I agree with them.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, July 17, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:31


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