Strengthening DEI: HKEX, EIB Name Female CEOs

Corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion agendas may be in retreat in the US, but not in either Asia or Europe, as evidenced by the appointment of Bonnie Chan as CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (HKEX), parent company of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Asia’s third largest bourse. Over in Europe, former Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Nadia María Calviño Santamaría assumed the presidency of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the largest multilateral financial institution in the world, on January 1.

Chan, currently one of Hong Kong exchange’s two co-COOs, will assume her new role in May, succeeding CEO Nicolas Aguzin. In her current position, she oversees the exchange’s group strategy, human resources, mainland Chinese development, as well as LME Clear, the clearing house for the London Metal Exchange.

In recent years, HKEX has stressed the need for diversity and gender empowerment among the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s publicly traded companies.

Chan brings with her more than three decades of experience in legal and financial services. She joined HKEX as its head of listings in January 2020 after serving as a partner with law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in Hong Kong. Prior to that, she was head of IPO transactions at HKEX’s listing division and executive director of legal and compliance at Morgan Stanley. At the EIB, Calviño’s predecessor was Werner Hoyer, a German economist. Elected by her fellow European finance ministers, she was seen as a moderate technocrat and a calming force in the government of socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. While Calviño is not a member of the PSOE party, she supported his government’s decision to raise Spain’s minimum wage by 22% in 2019, the largest annual increase in more than 40 years.