Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive of HSBC: sexist, racist and ageist

My thanks to J for pointing me to a piece (by a female journalist, needless to say) in the Guardian:

Stuart Gulliver, 54, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, calls his industry ‘male, pale and stale’, managing to fit into just four words sexism, racism, and ageism. The four women on his bank’s board – out of a total of 17 directors – are all non-executives. Does that alone not tell this man anything?

So, what is known about the impact of increasing women on banking boards? In our briefing paper on the impact of increasing female representation on boards we have links to the reports from five longitudinal studies. All five studies showed that increasing female representation on boards leads to corporate financial decline. One should be of particular interest to Stuart Gulliver, maybe he could read the report when he’s next on his travels. It’s a study of German banks over a period of 16 years:

Executive board composition and bank risk taking (2012) (Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper, 03/2012)

Professor Allen N. Berger (University of South Carolina, Wharton Financial Institutions Center and Tilburg University), Thomas Kick (Deutsche Bundesbank), Professor Klaus Schaeck (Bangor University).

The researchers studied German banks over 1994-2010. The paper’s full Abstract:

Little is known about how socio-economic characteristics of executive teams affect corporate governance in banking. Exploiting a unique dataset, we show how age, gender, and education composition of executive teams affect risk taking of financial institutions. First, we establish that age, gender, and education jointly affect the variability of bank performance. Second, we use difference-in-difference estimations that focus exclusively on mandatory executive retirements and find that younger executive teams increase risk taking, as do board changes that result in a higher proportion of female executives [my emphasis]. In contrast, if board changes increase the representation of executives holding Ph.D. degrees, risk taking declines.

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