Sunday, January 10, 2010 | By: Rudi Butt

I Was An Elephant Handler



Updated (partial) on January 24, 2013

This may possibly be the most complete succession list of Chairmen and Chief Managers of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation available on the internet, at the time when this post was published. Why so braggy? Quite simple, I didn't start this haply, I was looking, hard, to find a list of this nature on the internet and came away empty-handed, and therefore decided to compile my own. Back in 2010, I had the opportunity to compare notes with the HSBC GMO Archives and was glad (and thankful) to have found two new names of chairmen which I didn't have on mine. I was so much happier that in return I gave them one that they didn't have. The list, as presented below, is quite exhaustive; all I can do (and will do) is to add brief biographies to the names, starting from the less known.

Notes:
  1. The country flags placed under the names of non-Chinese are for easy reference to indicate the nationalities or countries of origin of these persons. These are present days flags and some of them may not correspond with the historic period of the events in matter.

Chairman of the Board of Directors: A Succession List
11865/3 - 1866Francis Chomley 孔萊
Chairman of the Provisional Committee, became HSBC Chairman on March 2, 1865; Senior partner in China of Dent and Co. 寶順洋行; Senior Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council (1864-1866); Consul of Sweden and Norway in Hong Kong (1863); Italian consul in Hong Kong (1864)
21867/1 - 1867/2John Dent
31867/3 - 1867/5Edward L. Cunningham
b.1823 Milton, Massachusetts - d.1889 same Milton; Managing Director of Russell and Co. in Shanghai; Founder and President (1862-1864), Shanghai Steamship Company; Assistant Consul, Sweden and Norway (Hong Kong 1871). [Cunningham was well respected for his philanthropic mind and deeds. Russell and Co. became shareholders of HSBC in 1866 and by December that year, William H. Forbes (also from Milton), Russell’s Chairman was elected as director of the bank. It puzzles me though that if Edward is in fact E. Cunningham, why him and not his Chairman who was elected to the chair? Forbes only became chairman in 1874. So, as far as I am concerned, this is non-conclusive, and needs further digging …]
41867/6 - 1867/11Agathon Friedrich Woldemar Nissen
b.1836 Hamburg - d. December 28,1896 Hamburg; Member of the Provisional Committee, HSBC Deputy Chairman in 1866, became HSBC Chairman at the age of 31; Senior partner of Siemssen and Co. 禪臣洋行 since 1855; Consul for the Hansa Towns of Bremen, Hamburg and Lubeck as well as for Sweden and Norway; Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1867-1868); left Hong Kong in October 1867.
51867/12 - 1868/11George Johann Hellend
A Norwegian; member of the Provisional Committee; senior partner of John Burd and Co. 畢洋行; consul for Denmark, Sweden and Norway; Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1869); Danish consul to Hong Kong (1867); Consul of Sweden and Norway to Hong Kong (1867).
61869George Farley Heard
b.1837 Ipswich, Massachusetts - d.1875 aboard the S.S. Anadye in the Red Sea, returning to the United States; entered Harvard, but completed his formal education in Geneva, Switzerland; went to China in 1859 as a private secretary of John E. Ward (the American minister to China) at the negotiation of the Treaty of Tientsin; had his named changed in Suffolk County, Massachusetts in 1861, from George Washington Heard Jr. to George Farley Heard; joined his uncle’s trading firm in Canton, Augustine Heard and Co. 瓊記洋行 where his brother Albert Farley Heard (a member of the bank’s Provisional Committee) worked as senior partner; later succeeded his brother as senior partner of AHC; Russian consul to Hong Kong (1864); remained in Hong Kong with the company until its final collapse in 1875; died at sea heading back to the United States at the age of 38; buried in Aden, Yemen.
71870Henry Beverley Lemann
Member of the Provisional Committee; head of Gilman and Co. 太平洋行.
81871 - 1972R. Rowett
Member of the Legislative Council.
91872 - 1873Thomas Pyke
Records of Thomas Pyke, as found, were scattered, but all in all portrayed a job hopper, whose station in life and the HSBC chairmanship were unseeming to each other. Pyke worked for the British opium firm Holliday, Wise & Co. as a clerk in Shanghai, along with his brother William Pyke, from 1846 to 1848. He was listed as a resident of Canton (Guangzhou) from 1849 to 1851. Undated records further showed that he worked for Gideon Nye's trading firm Nye, Parkin & Co.; Isaac Bull's firm Bull, Purdon & Co.; and H.L. Dalrymple's Birley & Co. Nye was a Massachusetts merchant who had made a fortune in China. I have written about him in the post “Philadelphia Quaker, Soldier Of Fortune”, an unusual tradesman and diplomat who in 1857 had lobbied the U.S. government to annex Formosa (Taiwan). The Hong Kong and Canton based American ships' agent Bull, Purdon & Co. was a founding member of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1861), and so was Birley. Dalrymple was appointed HSBC chairman for two terms: 1882-83 and 1890-91. Pyke was with Birley & Co. when he became HSBC chairman in 1872.
101873 - 1874Solomon David Sassoonb.1841-d.1894; grandfather of Rabbi Solomon David Sassoon (b.August 1915 London – d.May 1985) and great grandfather of Rabbi Isaac S.D. Sassoon, both of them educators and scholars.
111874 - 1875William H. Forbes
Chairman of the opium firm Russell and Co.
121875 - 1876Adolph (Adolf) von André
Von André (b.unk. - d. May 7, 1911, London) was a German national who engaged himself in the financing and venture capital businesses. The Hong Kong and Qing Governments only documented him under the name of Adolf André without the preposition of “von”. He was some time known as Baron Adolf von André, but official British records had only addressed him as Mr. von André, as such I suspect the aristocratic title was no more than a nickname. There was no record that showed when André came to Hong Kong or how he amassed his wealth, but it was said that he had made his fortune in Hong Kong. He was associated with a number of commercial houses either in the capacity of a director or a partner. I was able to locate these affiliations. He co-founded Melchers & Co. 美最時洋行 in Hong Kong (a firm remains operating today in Hong Kong and elsewhere) with Bremener [is there such a word, or Bremenian?] Hermann Melchers on August 1, 1866, in which firm he remained a partner between 1866 and 1889. He was listed as a director of the International Bank of London, Ltd. in 1888; a director of the Trust or Loan Company (probably Hong Kong domicile)[strange name for a financial institution] in 1889; a partner of André Reniers & Co. (co-founder William Reniers was previously a partner in Melchers & Co.) in 1889; a debenture holder of Crisp and Co., Ltd. (mercantile firm operated from Cambridge) in 1904; and a director of the couturiers Paquin and Maison Virot (year unk.). André was said to have a substantial portion of his holdings in railway interests in Spain, Australia, USA and the Philippines. He was listed as a director and a trustee of The Great Southern of Spain Railway Co., Ltd. in 1890. He was listed as a special juror in 1874 through 1877.
131876 - 1877Emmanuel Raphael Belilios 庇理羅士
b.1837 Calcutta – d.1905 London; a Baghdadi Indian Jew; the longest serving director in the HSBC board (1868-1888); Senior Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council (1892-1900).
141877 - 1878Hans Christian Heinrich Hoppius
b. - December 12, 1894 Hong Kong; arrived Hong Kong in 1862 at the age of twenty one; second generation successor of Woldemar Nissen in the firm Siemssen and Co. as senior partner from 1868; president of the German Club in Hong Kong since its establishment in 1865; member of the Hong Kong Commission at the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition held in London; his name was shown as a director of the bank in a HSBC advertisement posted in The Straits Times (Singapore) on September 4, 1883.
151878 - 1879Frederick David Sassoon 費特力克沙宣b.1853-d.1917; of David Sassoon, Sons and Co. 沙宣洋行; younger brother of Albert Sassoon.
161879 - 1880William H. Forbes
This was Forbes' second term, he previously served as Chairman from 1874 to 1875.
171880 - 1881William Keswick 凱薩克
b.1834, Scottish Lowland – d.1912; 9th Tai-pan of Jardine, Matheson; founder of the Keswick family; grandnephew of William Jardine; arrived in Hong Kong in 1855; established a Yokohama branch for Jardine in 1859; became a Jardine partner in Hong Kong in 1862; left Hong Kong to be with Matheson and Co. in London in 1886; member of the Executive and Legislative Councils; Chairman of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1870, 1877-1881, 1884-1885); Hawaiian consul to Hong Kong (1869,1885); Danish consul to Hong Kong (1880); MP for Epsom & Ewell (1899-1912); HSBC Director (1877); Deputy Chairman (1879-1880); resigned from the board in 1886 to return to London; Keswick finally connected Jardine, Matheson and HSBC thirteen years after the establishment of the bank. Jardine’s representation on the boards (of directors and the advisory one in London) had never ceased since then.
181881 - 1882A. McIver
191882 - 1883H.L. Dalrymple 達爾藍普
A Scott; partner of mercantile firm and opium trader Birley and Co. (renamed Birley, Dalrymple and Co. in 1883); Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1878); Justice of the Peace; name of Birley, Dalrymple and Co. was shown as one of the places where copies of the Opium Ordinance in the Straits Settlements and Labuan were available for viewing in an advertisement posted by W.H. Treacher, Governor of Sandakan, in the Straits Times (Singapore) on July 14, 1883 inviting bids for the "Tender for the North Borneo Opium Farm, 1884".
20- 1883/12Wilhelm Reiners
Partner of Melchers & Co. 美最時洋行 (1874-1893)
211883/12 - 1885A.P. McEwan 麥伊雲
Senior partner of the opium firm Holiday Wise and Co; Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1886-1887, 1890); Chamber’s Representative to the Legislative Council (1887-1890).
221885-1886Frederick David SassoonThis was his second time in office; he previously served as Chairman from 1878 to 1879.
23 - 1886/06A. McIver
This was his second time in office; he previously served as Chairman from 1881 to 1882.
241886/06 - 1887/09Max Grote
Partner of Melchers & Co. 美最時洋行 (1884-1887).
251887/09 - 1888Charles D. Bottomley
A scott; Bottomley listed his residential addresses as at Wyndham Street and Douglas Castle in 1884, the same as Douglas Lapraik. I do not know how the two were related. Lapraik was a member of the bank’s Provisional Committee and the Board of Directors.
261888 - 1889John Bell-Irving
Partner of Jardine, Matheson; married Mary Jardine, niece of William Jardine (daughter of David); Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1888-1889); member of the Legislative Council (1886, 1887-1889); Hawaiian consul to Hong Kong (1887); HSBC Director (1886); Deputy Chairman 1887; resigned from the board in 1889; returned to the board in 1893; Deputy Chairman (1897-1898, 1902-1903).
271889/02 - 1890/02William H. Forbes
This was his third time in office; he previously served as Chairman from 1874 to 1875 and from 1879 to 1880.
Note: term of office began every year from February from hereon in
281890 - 1891H.L. Dalrymple
This was Dalrtmple's second time in office; he previously served as Chairman from 1882 to 1883.

29th) Jacob Silas Moses (February 1891 – February 1892)
Senior partner of E. D. Sassoon and Co. 新沙遜洋行

30th) Stephen C. Michaelsen (February 1892 – February 1893)
Partner of Melchers & Co. 美最時洋行 (1884-1897); Russian consul to Hong Kong (1887)

31st) Hans Christian Heinrich Hoppius (February 1893 – February 1894)
This was Hoppius' second term, he previously served as Chairman from 1877 to 1878.

32nd) C.J. Holliday (February 1894 – February 1895)
Commander of Shanghai Volunteer Corps 萬國商團 (1881-1882, 1883-1886, 1891-1892, 1898-1900); director of Shanghai Municipal Council 上海公共租界工部局 (1883); Deputy Chairman of the bank (1894)

33rd) Jacob Silas Moses (February 1895 – February 1896)
This was Moses' second term, he previously served as Chairman from February 1891 to February 1892.

34th) A. McConachie (February 1896 – February 1897)
Senior partner of Gilman & Co.; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1896), Vice chair (1895, 1899); acting Chamber Representative to the Legislative Council (1884, 1895).

35th) Stephen C. Michaelsen (February 1897 – February 1898)
This was Michaelsen's second term, he previously served as Chairman from February 1892  to February 1893.

36th) James Jardine Bell-Irving (February 1898 – February 1899)
b.1857 Makerstoun, Roxburghshire, Scotland – d.?; partner of Jardine, Matheson; member of the Legislative Council (1892-1893, 1895, 1896-1899, 1901-1902); member of the Executive Council (1896-1899, 1901-1902); Chieftain of Hong Kong St. Andrew's Society (1897-1899); Chairman of the Hong Kong Cotton Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing Company (1899-1910, 1911-1914); father-in-law of Ian Maitland, 15th Earl of Lauderdale

37th) Robert M. Gray (February 1899 – February 1900)
Head of the British mercantile firm of Reiss and Co. 泰和洋行 (Reiss was an old trading firm initially established in Canton. The company was acquired by Hutchison group in 1960s); Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1897-1900); Justice of the Peace; Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club Steward (his horses had won many racing cup for him, it was said); believed to be one of the richest men in Hong Kong; close to Augustine Heard Jr. of Augustine Heard and Co.

38th) N.A. Siebs (February 1900 – February 1901)
A German national; partner in Siemssen and Co.; member of German Club; his name was shown as a director of the bank in a HSBC advertisement posted in The Straits Times (Singapore) on January 7, 1904.

39th) James Johnstone Keswick (1901-1902)
b.1845-d.1914; Tai-pan of Jardine, Matheson (1890-1900); younger brother of William Keswick; arrived in the Far East in 1870; member of the Legislative Council (1889, 1890-1896, 1899-1901); member of the Executive Council (1899, 1900-1901); Chairman of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1893-1894); founded Hongkong Land with Paul Chater in 1890; Chieftain of Hong Kong St. Andrew's Society (1890-1892, 1893-1894) Director of HSBC (1890-1895, 1899-1900). J.J. Keswick is not included in the list provided by HSBC GMO Archives. According to Carol Matheson Connell, A Business in Risk: Jardine Matheson and the Hong Kong Trading Industry, he was Chairman for the perior 1901-1902.

40th) Robert Gordon Shewan (February 1902 – February 1903)A Scot; b.1859 London - d. February 14, 1934 Hong Kong; came to Hong Kong at the age of twenty one in connection with Russell and Co.; director of Shewan and Co., later Shewan, Tomes and Co. 休恩托姆斯公司, which is a management company that oversaw the running of such early industries in Hong Kong as the Green Island Cement Company, Hong Kong Rope Manufacturing Company, Hong Kong Electric Tramway Co., Ltd, the Hong Kong operation of Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States and the Hong Kong operation of the British Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, to name but a few; representative of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce to the Legislative Council (1902, 1904-1906); member of the Legislative Council (1919-1922); Chieftain of Hong Kong St. Andrew’s Society (1907-1908); Chilean consul to Hong Kong (1893).
Shewan purchased a power station in Canton from Russell and Co. and registered it as a new company in 1900 (or 1901), which went by the name of China Light and Power Company. He was CLP's first Chairman and remained so for over thirty years. By 1932 the principal shareholders, member of the Kadoorie family, who retain control to this day, decided they wanted to run it themselves. Shewan was asked to go, so he demanded a "golden parachute" of HK$1 million. The family thought he was asking way too much and took the claim to court. The court returned the claim not only in favor of Shewan, but also that he should be paid HK$2 million instead!

41th) A.J. Raymond (February 1903 – February 1905)
Worked for E.D. Sassoon and Co.

42th) Herbert Edmund Tomkins (February 1905 – February 1906)
Succeeded Robert M. Gray as head of Reiss and Co. in 1901; member of the Hong Kong Club

43th) Armin Haupt (February 1906 – February 1907) Haupt
A Dane; partner of Melchers and Co. 美最時洋行 (1892-1907); consul for Denmark; member of Hong Kong Club and German Club; Russian consul to Hong Kong (1898); Danish consul to Hong Kong (1899); HSBC Deputy Chairman (1906)

G.H. Medhurst
44th) G.H. Medhurst (February 1907 – February 1908)
Manager of Dodwell and Co.; member of the Hong Kong Club
Medhurst’s board included these men: Henry Keswick of Jardine, Matheson and Co. as Vice Chairman, A. Fuchs of Siemssen and Co., E. Goetz of Arnold, Karberg and co., C.R. Lenzmann of the German firm Carlowitz and Co., A. J. Raymond of E.D. Sassoon and co., Edward Shellim of David Sassoon and co., Robert George Shewan of Shewan, Tomes and Co., H.A.W. Slade of Gilman and Co. and Herbert Edmund Tomkins of Reiss and Co.

Henry Keswick
45th) Henry Keswick (February 1908 – February 1909)

46th) W.J. Gresson (February 1909 – February 1910)

47th) Herbert Edmund Tomkins (February 1910 – February 1911)
This was Tomkins' second term, he previously served as Chairman from February 1905 to February 1906.

Edward Shellim
48th) Edward Shellim (February 1912 – February 1913)
British; manager of David Sassoon, Sons and Co.; came to China in 1885; a director of Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Company, the Hong Kong Land Investment Company, the Hong Kong Tramways, the Hong Kong Land Reclamation Company, the China Sugar Refining Company, the Canton Marine Insurance Company, the China Fire Insurance Company; member of the Legislative Council (1913-1919).

50th) F.H. Armstrong (February 1913 – February 1914)

David Landale
51st) David Landale (February 1914 – February 1916)
Jardine, Matheson Tai-pan; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1915); member of the Legislative Council (1915); Captain of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club (1918); naming honor: Landale Street 蘭杜街

52nd) W.L. Pattenden (February 1916 - February 1917)
Pattenden is not included in the list provided by HSBC GMO Archives; his name appeared in a HSBC advertisement posted in The Straits Times on March 9, 1916; no further information can be found on Pattenden at this time.
Pattenden's Board included these men: S.H. Dodwell as Deputy Chairman, G.T.M. Edkins, David Landale, C.S. Gubbay of E.D. Sassoon and Co., J.A. Plummer, P.H. Holyoak and Edward Shellim

53rd) Stanley Hudson Dodwell (February 1917 – February 1918)
Head of Dodwell and Co., Ltd. 天祥洋行; probably related to company founder George Benjamin Dodwell; Chairman of Dairy Farm; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1919, 1936, 1941) and vice chair (1916-1918, 1935, 1940); chaired the Chamber’s last General Meeting on May 13, 1941, months before the fall of Hong Kong on Christmas Day; Member of the Legislative Council (1917, 1941); President of the Royal Society of St. George Hong Kong Branch (1938/1939); Captain of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club (1916, 1935-1936)

54th) P.H. Holyoak (February 1918 – February 1919)
Merchant; head of Reiss and Co. and later Holyoak, Massey and Co., Ltd.; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1917-1918, 1920-1921, 1925), Chamber representative to the Legislative Council (1915-1926); member of the Masonic order Hong Kong; Captain of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club (1921); President of the Royal Society of St. George Hong Kong Branch (1918-1919); President of the Aero Club (1920)

55th) J.A. Plummer (February 1919 – February 1920)
Managing Director of Bradley & Co.; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1931); son of John Isaac Plummer, who, for twenty years, was Chief Assistant at the Royal Observatory in Hong Kong (the old Plummer retired in 1911 and died in 1925 in London)

56th) E.V.D. Parr (February 1920 – February 1921)
Was head of P & O Steam Navigation Co. in 1919; went to work for Mackinnon, Mackenzie and Co. in 1920; Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1919-1920, 1923); member of the Legislative Council (1919-1921); Captain of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club (1919).

57th) G.T.M. Edkins (February 1921 – February 1922)
Manager of Butterfield and Swire; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1916); President of Royal Society of St. George Hong Kong Branch (1921/1922)

58th) G.M. Dodwell (February 1922 – February 1923)

59th) A.O. Lang (February 1923 – February 1924)
Arrived Hong Kong in 1904 to join Gibb, Livingston and Co. 仁記洋行 and became head in 1916; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1922), vice chair (1920, 1923, 1925-1926) and member of the Chamber General Committee (1916-1927); member of the Legislative Council (1923-1927) and Executive Council (various period since 1922); director of various firms in Hong Kong including Union Insurance Society of Canton, Hong Kong Electric, Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown, Hong Kong Tramways, Star Ferry, Indo-China Steam Navigation, China Sugar Refining, Canton and Macau Steamboat and Peak Tramways; left Hong Kong in 1927.

60th) D.G.M. Bernard (February 1926 – February 1928)
Chairman and Managing Director of Jardine, Matheson and Co.; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1926-1927); member of the Executive and Legislative Councils; President of the Royal Society of St. George Hong Kong Branch (1923/1924)

61st) A.H. Compton (February 1928 – February 1929)
Manager of David Sassoon, Sons and Co.

62nd) N.S. Brown (February 1929 – February 1930)

63rd) J.A. Plummer (February 1930 – February 1931)
This was Plummer's second term, he previously served as Chairman from February 1919 to February 1920

64th) C. Gordon Mackie 邁基 (February 1931 – February 1932)
Head of Gibb Livingston and Co. and later worked for Mackinnon, Mackenzie and Co.; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1930, 1933-1934) and vice chair (1928); Chamber representative to the Legislative Council (1931-1935); Chieftain of Hong Kong St. Andrew’s Society (1929/1930)

J.J. Paterson - HSBC Chairman;
Jardine, Matheson Tai-pan;
Home Guard Major; and POW
65th) John Johnstone Paterson (February 1932 – February 1933)
Tai-pan of Jardine, Matheson; member of the Legislative Council (1938-1940); Home Guard Major (Paterson had fought with the Camel Corps in Iraq in the First World War) of Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps (under the command of Colonel H.B. Rose) positioned at the North Point power station at the outbreak of the war with Japan; became POW and kept in the Stanley Prison; after the liberation of Hong Kong in 1945, reopened the Jardine office with D.L. Newbigging; a descendant of William Jardine's sister Jean; son of William Paterson, a partner in Jardine from 1875 to 1887.

66th) Thomas Ernest 'Tam' Pearce (February 1933 – February 1934)
Merchant; b.year unknown Canton – d.December 1941, Hong Kong; son of Rev. Thomas William Pearce [1], missionary and educator in Hong Kong; very well respected businessman; bought the trading firm John D. Hutchison 和記洋行 form its founder John Du Flon Hutchison (established in 1880s) in 1917 and ran it until the outbreak of war; Dairy Farm board member; Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1939) and vice chair (1938); Member of the Legislative Council (1940-1941); President of the Royal Society of St. George Hong Kong Branch (1930/1931); Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club steward; member of the Hong Kong Cricket Team (1903/1904, 1935/1936); father of Alec Pearce (b.1910 Hong Kong - d.1982 Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England), a well-known cricketer who played for Hong Kong; died in a gallant defense of the Hong Kong Electric power station at North Point during the battle of Hong Kong.

67th) C. Gordon Mackie 邁基 (February 1934 – February 1935)
This was Mackie's second term, he previously served as Chariman from February 1931 to February 1932.

68th) Stanley Hudson Dodwell (February 1935 – February 1936)
This was Dodwell's second term, he previously served as Chairman eighteen years ago from February 1917 to February 1918,

69th) John Johnstone Paterson (February 1936 – February 1937)
This is Paterson's second term, he previously served as Chairman from February 1932 to February 1933

70th) G. Miskin (February 1937 – February 1938)
Managing Director of Gilman and Co., Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1941, 1946-1947)

71st) Thomas Ernest 'Tam' Pearce (February 1938 – February 1939)
This was Pearce's second term, he previously served as Chairman from February 1933 to February 1934

72nd) A.L. Shields (February 1939 – February 1940)Head of Shewan, Tomes & Co 休恩托姆斯公司, Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1938) the vice chair (1937); the Chamber representative to the Legislative Council (1938-1944); Chieftain Hong Kong St. Andrew’s Society (1933/1934). Shields served in the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps. Shields, together with Major C.M. Manners, urge Governor Marc Young, after a visit to Japanese lines and sighting the artilery and troops in reserve during a truce at 9am on Christmas Day 1941, that it was futile to continue fighting. At 3:15pm Major-General Christopher Michael Maltby, the Hong Kong garrison commander organized the defense, advised Young that no further useful military resistance was possible and then ordered all commanding officers to break off the fighting and to capitulate to the nearest Japanese commander.

73rd) H.V. Wilkinson (February 1940 – February 1941)
President of the Royal Society of St. George Hong Kong Branch (1940/1941)

74th) John Johnstone Paterson (February 1941 – February 1942)
This is Paterson's third term, he previously served as Chairman from February 1932 to February 1933 and from February 1936 to February 1937

75th) Arthur Morse (1941-1953, June 1946-1953)
b.April 25, 1892 Tipperary, Ireland - d.May 13, 1967; Morse was Chairman of the Bank’s London Advisory Committee; required by British regulators in 1941, because of the imminent fall of Hong Kong to the Japanese, to act as Chairman of the Bank; in 1943, the London Committee was empowered to act as a Board of Directors and Morse was appointed to the dual role of Chairman and Chief Manager; Senior Unofficial Member of the Executive Council (1946-1953); Naming honor: Morse Park.

76th) C. Blaker (March 1954 – March 1958)

77th) M Turner (1959-1962)

78th) Hugh David MacEwen Barton (1962-1963)
b.1911, Ireland - d.1989, England; Chairman and Managing Director of Jardine, Matheson & Co. (1953-1963), HSBC Director (1955-1959), HSBC Vice Chairman (1960-1961)

79th) W.C.G. Knowles (1964)

80th) John A.H. Saunders (1965-1972)

81st) Guy M. Sayer (1973–1977)
b.1924 London - d.2009 London; Sayer rose from rank and file within HSBC; he joined HSBC London in 1946 and was sent to the East the following year; became Manger of the Mongkok Branch in Hong Kong in 1965; Staff Controller in 1969; General Manager and Director of the Board in the following year; Deputy Chairman in 1971.

82nd) Michael A. R. Sandberg 沈弼 (1978-1986); b.May 31, 1927 Surrey - d. ;

83rd) W. Purves (1986–1993)

84th) J. Grey (1993-1996)

85th) J. Strickland (1996–1999)

86th) D. Eldon (1999–2005)

87th) Vincent Cheng (2005–2010)

88th) M.F. Geoghegan (2010- )

Group Chairman

1st) William Purves 浦偉士 (1986-1998)
2nd) John Bond 龐約翰 (1998-2006)
3rd) Stephen Green 葛霖 (2006-)

Chief Manager, Hong Kong: A Succession List

Victor Kresser, center front row
1st) Victor Kresser (1868-1870)
A Swiss Calvinist who was in Shanghai since 1860 as manager of Comptoir d'Escompte de Paris [1] 法蘭西銀行; joined HSBC as manager of the Hong Kong Office in 1864; became Chief Manager after the bank reorganized in 1868 that made the Hong Kong office the headquarters and the Shanghai office the Shanghai Branch. The Swiss, who was to operate Hong Kong's first local bank under "sound Scottish banking principles", was sacked 2 years after he was installed to the position of Chief Manager.
[1] CEP was the first French bank to enter Qing China, while the Shanghai office was the bank's first branch office ever established outside of France. The Shanghai branch was opened for the purpose to receive eight million taels of silver that China were bound to pay to France as indemnity for the Second Opium War. CEP was nationalized in 1945, and was merged with several other banks in 1966 to become BNP Paribas.
A 1873 HSBC one dollar note bearing Greig's signature
2nd) James Greig (1871-1876)
b.1834-d.unknown; Greig joined the bank in 1869; he was formerly the Hong Kong branch manager of the Asiatic Banking Corporation 亞西鴉特匯理銀行 (probably an Indian bank); best remembered for his handling of Qing China’s first public loan – in 1874 he committed the bank to a Foochow loan of GBP627,615 at the agreed but arbitrary exchange rate of 2 million taels, denominated in sterling.

Lucky Jackson
3rd) Thomas Jackson 昃臣 (1876-1886)
Representative of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce to Legislative Council (1884-1887)

4th) John Walter (1886-1887)

5th) Thomas Jackson (1887-1889)

G.E. Noble
6th) George Edward Noble (1889-1890)
b.ca.1847 - d. April 10, 1901; son of an East India merchant

7th) Thomas Jackson (1890-1891)

8th) F. de Bovis (1891-1893)

9th) Thomas Jackson (1893-1902)
Chairman of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1901)

10th) J.R.M. Smith (1902-1910)
Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1909, 1910)

11th) Newton J. Stabb (1910-1920)
Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (1912)

ca.1910 photo of
A.G. Stephen with
his comprador
12th) A. G. Stephen (1920-1924)
Chieftain of Hong Kong St. Andrew's Society (1922-1923)

13th) A.H. Barlow (1924-1927)

14th) A. C. Hynes (1927-1930)
Member of the Legislative Council (1928-1929)

15th) Vandeleur Molyneux Grayburn (1930-1941)
Interned by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation; died in prison.

16th) Arthur Morse (1941-1953)
Served as Chairman during the same period

17th) Michael W. Turner (1953-1962)

18th) John A. H. Saunders (1962-1964)
Became Chairman in 1964

19th) Hsi-Jui Shen (1964-1972)
The position was Joint Chief Manager; b.May 5, 1902 Shanghai – d.1994 San Francisco; among the first students of Chinese descent at Dartmouth College (class of 1928) and Harvard Business School; said to be formerly a director of ROC’s Central Trust of China 中央信託局; first Chinese descent to fill the top management post of HSBC.

I found no record of Shen being connected with CTC, but there was a shanghai-born man, of similar age to Shen, by the name of Sheng Shenyi 盛升頤 alias Sheng Chen 盛臣, who was put in charge of CTC's Hong Kong Bureau in 1937 after the fallen of Shanghai. Sheng was the seventh son of famous Qing government sponsored industrialist Sheng Xuanhuai 盛宣懷 (1844-1916). Sheng also owned a trading firm, Yangzi Trading Company 揚子公司, in Hong Kong under a partnership with Kong Lingkon 孔令侃 [2] and Song Zion 宋子安 [3]. The trading company acted as agent to CTC in all arms procurements, including major ones such as the purchase of warplanes, to skim huge profits for the three. Sheng was said to have made a fortune from Yangzi, and also from CTC. No idea if these two are the same man, which is entirely possible. The surname 盛 can be pronunced as Shen or Sheng or Sing.
[2] Kong Lingkon was the son of K'ung Hsianghsi 孔祥熙, alias H.H. Kung, and Eling Soong 宋藹齡 (the eldest of the three Soong Sisters); K’ung was ROC Premier from January 1938 to December 1939.

[3] Song Zion was the younger brother of Soong Tzuwen 宋子文, alias Paul Soong, who was the son of Charlie Soong (as featured in the book “The Soong Dynasty”). A brother-in-law of H.H. Kung, Paul Soong was ROC Minister of Finance (1928–1931, 1932–1933) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1942–1945)
CTC was established by ROC’s Central Bank in 1934 in Shanghai to undertake government’s trust insurance affairs and government procurement (including arms purchase and shipping). CTC was moved to Taipei in 1949. In 2003, A reorganization in 2003 turned CTC into a corporation with a board of directors, but retaining the same name and function.

20th) Guy M. Sayer (1970-1977)
Became Chairman in 1972

21th) Michael A. R. Sandberg (1977-1986)
Also Chairman during the same period

Group Chief Executive

1st) William Purves (1986-1993); also Chairman from 1986 to 1998
2.nd)John Bond (1993-1998); became Chairman in 1998

3rd) Keith Whitson (1998-2003)
b. March 25, 1943 Morecambe, England – d. ; joined HSBC in 1961; has worked for the HSBC Group in the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia; Manager Frankfurt from 1978; Manager Indonesia from 1981; Assistant General Manager Finance for Asia from 1984; General Manager of HSBC plc from 1988-1990; Executive Director of HSBC Bank USA from 1990; Executive Director and Deputy Chief Executive of HSBC plc from 1992, CEO from 1994, Deputy Chairman 1998; Chairman of the Shareholders Committee and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt KgaA, Düsseldorf; Vice Chairman of HSBC North America Inc.; Chairman of Merrill Lynch HSBC ; Chairman of HSBC Bank AS in Turkey; a non-executive director of the Financial Services Authority (1999) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers; knighted in 2002; retired at the AGM on May 30, 2003 after 42 years with HSBC.

4th) Stephen Green (2003-2006), became Chairman in 2006
5th) Michael Geoghegan (2006- )

The First Accountant

John Grigor,who was previously the accountant of the Bank of Hindustan.

The Seven Head Compradors of HSBC

These seven contracted bankers took care of HSBC’s China affairs for a whole century following the bank’s inception. Between 1865 and 1965 there were nineteen chief managers in HSBC Hong Kong, but only seven compradors.

1st) Lo Chung-kong 羅振綱 (1865-1877, died in office); alias Lo Pak-sheung 羅伯常
2nd) Lo Hok-pang 羅鶴朋 (1877-1892); alias Lo Sau-sung 羅壽嵩; third son of Lo Chung-kong;
3rd) Lau Wai-chuen 劉渭川 (1892-1906)
4th) Lau Boon-chiu 劉伴樵 (1906-1912)

5th) Ho Sai-wing 何世榮 (1912-1945, died in office)
b.unk., Hong Kong - d.1945 Hong Kong; the longest serving comprador of HSBC totaling 33 years; son of Ho Fook and was adopted by uncle Robert Ho-tung (Ho Fook’s elder brother); engaged by E.D. Sassoon and Co. as comprador; Robert Ho-tung provided a guarantee amount to HK$300,000 to HSBC for it to engage Ho Sai-wing as comprador; in 1934 Ho Sai-wing faced bankruptcy due to losses in share speculation (in connection with Jardine Matheson shares; as a result of the same incident, two of his brothers died from suicide and a third one, Ho Sai-kwong 何世光 abandoned his wife and son Stanley Ho and fled to Vietnam) but was bailed out by Robert Ho-tung; interned and tortured by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation; died in 1945 after Hong Kong was liberated.

6th) Tong Jung-bo 唐宗保 (1945-1953, died in office); the first comprador after WWII

7th) Lee Shun-wah 李純華 (1953-1965)
The last comprador of HSBC; maternal nephew of the fourth comprador Lau Boon-chiu; in 1960 the position was renamed "Chinese Manager 華人經理"; Lee's retirement in 1965 so ended the era of comprador for HSBC

HSBC’s Shanghai office also had seven compradors:

1st) Wang Huaishan 王槐山 (1865-1874)
2nd) Xi Zhengfu 席正甫 (1874-1904)
3rd) Xi Ligong 席立功 (1904-1922)
4th) Xi Lusheng 席鹿笙 (1922-1929)
5th) Gong Ziyu 龔子漁 (1930-1937)
6th) Gong Xingwu 龔星五 (1937-1941, 1945-1949)
7th) Gong Zhenfang 龔振方 (1949-1950)


* Additional information on this person can be found from the post Sutherland 13.

- TO BE COMPLETED -



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