Calvin Tai named interim chief executive of HKEX as Charles Li steps down

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) announced that its Chief Executive Charles Li has informed the board of directors of his wish to retire early. The exchange had shared earlier in May Charles Li’s intention to not to seek reappointment at the end of his current contract in October 2021.

Li will remain Chief Executive of HKEX and an ex-officio member of the board until 31 December 2020. From 1 January, Li will take up the role of senior adviser to the board for the next 6 months, providing guidance and ensuring a smooth transition.

Li is veteran of 11 years at the exchange. During his lead as Chief Executive, HKEX transformed from a regional stock exchange into a premier market infrastructure group.

Charles Li, HKEX Chief Executive, commented:

Charles Li, HKEX

Charles Li
Source: LinkedIn

Being Chief Executive of HKEX has been the highlight of my career to date. I have been privileged to work with some exceptional colleagues in creating a business that is now at the forefront of global financial markets, connecting one of the largest and most exciting economies in the world, and underpinning the future of Hong Kong’s vibrant and international financial community. There is never a perfect time to stand down from a great company such as HKEX, but given the strength of our business as well as our markets, it is now the right time for me to begin to pass the mantle to the next generation of HKEX leaders. I am delighted that one of my most experienced and trusted colleagues, Calvin Tai, will be leading the company on an interim basis, whilst the search for a new Chief Executive concludes and I will continue to give him and HKEX my utmost support well into 2021. Thank you to all those who have supported me throughout my tenure. It has been an absolute honour.

Following Li’s retirement, from 1 January 2021, Calvin Tai will become interim chief executive ex-officio member of the Boar. The appointment has been approved by the Securities and Futures Commission.


Tai currently serves as Co-President and Chief Operating Officer of HKEX and will continue in these roles along with his new appointment as Interim Chief Executive.  Tai joined the Group in 1998 and has accumulated extensive experience and knowledge of the company.

Calvin Tai, HKEX Co-President and COO, said:

Calvin Tai, HKEX

Calvin Tai

I am delighted to have been asked to lead the company on an interim basis as we prepare for the next chapter in our journey. HKEX is one of Hong Kong’s most distinguished organisations and our strategy of being China Anchored, Globally Connected and Technology Empowered will continue to be our focus as we look to make HKEX ever more relevant and to drive our growth story. I would like to personally thank Charles for his leadership and friendship over more than 11 years, and the Board, for their faith in me at this important time for Hong Kong and HKEX.

In May, HKEX announced Li’s decision to not continue his appointment and a selection committee was formed led by HKEX Chairman, Laura M Cha, with HKEX Directors, Apurv Bagri, Benjamin Hung and Rafael Gil-Tienda to conduct a formal search process for a new HKEX Chief Executive.

Laura M Cha, HKEX Chairman, said:

 On behalf of the HKEX Board and Hong Kong’s financial community, I would like to thank Charles for his visionary leadership. He has played a pivotal role in the growth of Hong Kong’s capital markets, and has ensured HKEX is very well-placed for the opportunities, and challenges, ahead. We fully respect his decision to step down from his role, and we are pleased that he will remain with the organisation for a period, continuing to share his expertise.

At the same time, we are privileged to be welcoming Calvin to the role of Interim Chief Executive of the Group. His broad knowledge of global markets, his thorough understanding of our business and his commitment to the success of Hong Kong’s financial community will be invaluable to us as he takes on this important role. We are extremely lucky to have someone of his calibre and experience within our company.

Good progress has been made on the Chief Executive search process and we will update the market when appropriate. In the meantime, I look forward to working with Charles and Calvin in the coming months, as HKEX continues to play a major role in Hong Kong, in financial markets, and in the global economy.

The exchange announced this week the launch of the latest futures contracts, part of its new index licensing agreement with finance company MSCI Inc., further expanding product range in Hong Kong’s international financial markets.

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