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The Thnking Banker's Thinking Banker

Sep 1, 2001

Sir John Bond, chairman of HSBC Holdings, says the international financial community should create an environment in which markets can function more effectively.

Sir John Bond is known to be a skinflint. The chairman of HSBC Holdings, the London-based international financial group, travels to work on the city's grimy and overcrowded subway system. Thrift is part of the bank's culture. It only pays for executives to fly economy class. Bond is also stingy with executive pay. Last year he was the bank's highest-paid director, with a package worth £1.6 million ($2.6 million). This is positively frugal for a man who runs the world's second-largest bank. In comparison, Citigroup Chairman Sandy Weill earned $19.9 million last year. Bond is clearly no get-rich-quick banker. He scorns speculators - whom he once referred to as "people in colorful suspenders." Yet he is not an old school financier either and has moved the bank into new, more adventurous areas. Bond is a tough, feared leader but he also has an unpretentious and cerebral personal style. He...

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