On October 24, the Board of Directors and the Board of Supervisors of Ping An Group considered and approved proposals to change several directors, supervisors and senior executives. Sun Jianyi, Ren Huichuan, Xie Yonglin and Gu Liji in an interview with the Group’s internal communications team explained the rationale and offered more details about the changes.
1. How are the senior management changes made by the Board of Directors related to the collective decision-making system of the “Co-CEO + functional executives” launched last year?
Ren Huichuan: Over the past 10 years, the Group has continued to further its “finance + technology” and “financial + ecosystem” strategic transformation and has achieved solid progress and results. Guided by a customer-focused, integrated finance operations model of one customer, one account, multiple products, one-stop service, the progressive implementation of this transformation has created the Group’s three distinct core businesses of personal, corporate and technology.
The Co-CEO + functional executives collective decision-making structure, introduced by the Board of Directors last year,was a further improvement to the Group's governance structure and an enhancement of the collective decision-making, division of responsibilities and matrix management. Roles and responsibilities of the Co-CEOs are clearly defined to support the development of the three core businesses. With this structure, the Group has achieved further progress in management and performance over the past year. The collective decision-making of the Co-CEO + functional executives structure has proven to be effective and essential for Ping An to execute its transformation strategy.
The changes made by the Board of Directors to several senior management positions will reinforce the collective decision-making structure. The appointment of Mr. Xie Yonglin as President, in addition to his role as Co-CEO, is intended to provide clear management responsibilities and leadership between the President and the Co-CEOs. This will further enhance the efficiency of decision making and execution under the Co-CEO + functional executives structure. With these changes, Ping An Group is installing a strong, dynamic, younger and more professional senior management team to take the company into the future.
2. Can you provide more details behind Xie Yonglin taking up multiple roles and Ren Huichuan becoming the Vice Chairman of Group?
Sun Jianyi: Huichuan and Yonglin are both around 50 years of age. They are strong, dynamic, young and experienced. Both joined Ping An straight from university and worked their way up the corporate ladder. For more than 20 years, Yonglin and Huichuan have rotated between different businesses and positions, thus accumulating rich experience and excellent management capability.
After the changes, Yonglin will serve as President and Co-CEO of the Group, Chairman of Ping An Bank and Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Group. This arrangement is appropriate given Yonglin’s overall capability, track record of performance and the Group’s strategic development needs.
Yonglin joined Ping An in 1994. He has held important positions in insurance, banking and investment and possesses professional management capability and experience across the different businesses of the Group. He has demonstrated strong leadership and excellence in execution and has achieved excellent performance in reforming Ping An’s Corporate Financial Committee, improving Ping An Bank’s management, leading the retail transformation of Ping An Bank, and the development of the Group’s ecosystem strategy.
From a corporate development point of view, the appointment of Yonglin as President, in addition to his role as Co-CEO, will provide clear management responsibilities and leadership between the President and the Co-CEOs. This will further enhance the efficiency of decision making and execution. In addition, his dual roles of Deputy Party Secretary of the Party Committee and President will help to realize the benefit of the Party Committee in the Group’s strategic transformation and business innovations.
Huichuan joined Ping An in 1992 and has held important management positions, including Executive Director, President, Vice President, Chief Insurance Business Officer, and has served as board director of several subsidiaries of the Group. He has a deep knowledge of Ping An’s corporate governance, corporate strategy, business development, and the capital market. During his tenure as President, he has worked diligently and was instrumental in major projects, including the acquisition of Shenzhen Development Bank and the issuance of convertible bonds. He has been persistent in improving the quality of management and business of the Group and has achieved outstanding performance and made a crucial contribution to Ping An's development, making him a suitable person for the role. Going forward, Huichuan will mainly participate in leading the Group’s administration, branding, investor communication functions, and will assist the Chairman to promote major strategic works.
3. What are the considerations behind appointing Cai Fangfang and Huang Baoxin as Vice Presidents of the Group?
Xie Yonglin: Cai Fangfang joined the Group in 2007 and has since assumed the position of Chief Human Resources Executive Officer, responsible for human resources management. Talent is critical to Ping An's continued strategic transformation, innovation and long-term stable development.
Since serving as the Chief HR Officer of the Group, Cai Fangfang has made outstanding contributions in building the Group’s HR system, acquiring senior talent and reforming the KPI incentive system. She is persistent in improving HR management and was instrumental in the innovation of the smart, integrated HR platform and the digital transformation of HR operations. Her efforts have effectively helped the Group’s innovation and development. Her achievements have received global accolades and recognition from the market. She has demonstrated strong and professional capabilities in innovation, strategy and execution. As a Vice President, Cai Fangfang will continue to work with the Co-CEOs under a matrix structure to manage the HR operations and drive the further development of Ping An’s strategy.
Huang Baoxin is currently a Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Secretary of the Disciplinary Committee of the Group. He has a long history of working in the Central Government and various national authorities, allowing him to develop strong organizational capabilities and a deep knowledge of the macro-environment and public policy. Since joining the Group in 2015, Baoxin has made a lot of outstanding achievements, including the establishment and management of Ping An’s Beijing headquarters, government and regulator relations, major project promotion, smart city business development and party organization development, thus contributing to creating a favourable operating environment for the Group. The appointment of Baoxin as Vice President will help to ensure that the Group’s operations and business innovations are in line with Party and Government policies as well as laws and regulations.
4. What are the considerations behind appointing Sun Jianyi, one of the founders of Ping An, as the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors?
Gu Liji: I am over 70 and decided to resign from the position as Chairman and remain a member of the supervisory board to continue to perform supervisory duties, protect the interests of small and medium shareholders and employees, and support the development of Ping An. I have nominated Sun Jianyi to succeed me as the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
I am recommending Jianyi to become the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors mainly because he is one of the founders of Ping An and has a long history of assuming different management positions in the Group.
Jianyi is dedicated and diligent, and has made a tremendous contribution to Ping An, from its humble beginnings to the giant organization it is today. He has accumulated substantial experience in corporate governance, business management and policy understanding. Jianyi has held positions, including Vice Chairman, Executive Vice President, Deputy CEO, and served as director on the boards of a number of professional subsidiaries of the Group. He has profound knowledge of Ping An's strategy, business and culture. He is also very familiar with the corporate governance and operations of the board of directors and supervisors.
In recent years, the domestic and overseas environment has become complicated and ever-changing. Increasing business challenges demand more responsibilities and higher performance from the board of supervisors. The Supervisory Board needs a Chairman who is familiar with the Group’s strategy, culture and internal and external environment to support and protect the healthy and long term development of the company. The Chairman has to constantly strengthen the supervisory function to effectively supervise the Board of Directors and senior management team to better perform their duties. I believe that Jianyi is a very suitable and ideal candidate. My proposal has also been unanimously supported by the Employee Representative Assembly and the Board of Supervisors. At the same Board of Directors meeting, Jianyi resigned from his Vice Chairman and senior management positions. After obtaining approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, he will officially become the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
Sun Jianyi: I would like to thank Chairman Gu, the Employee Representative Assembly and the Board of Supervisors for putting their trust in me. Chairman Gu was Vice Chairman of the Group from 1994 to 1997 and has since 2009 served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. He has witnessed the growth and development of Ping An from the beginning and has provided lots of support and guidance to the Group. Chairman Gu worked diligently and led the Board of Supervisors in promoting improvement to Ping An’s corporate governance structure and its development in accordance with international standards and transparency of operations. He has played an indispensable role in the stable and long-term development of the Group. Going forward, we will work closely together to ensure that the Board's supervision is strong and effective to provide for a better and more sustainable long-term development of Ping An.
5. Will the Chairman’s role and responsibilities change afterwards?
Ren Huichuan: As the founder and the “helmsman” of the Group, Chairman Ma Mingzhe has been leading Ping An from its inception for 30 years and, step by step, developed the company into the world’s largest financial and insurance group. Particularly in the past 10 years, he personally led the Finance + Technology, Finance + Ecosystem strategy and created a new business model for the global financial industry, which is widely recognized by the market. He has played an irreplaceable and core role in Ping An’s strategic transformation, business model innovation, fintech and healthtech innovation, talent and corporate culture development.
Looking ahead, Ping An, in furthering its “Finance + Technology” and “Finance + Ecosystem” strategy and business model transformation, will meet with more challenges. The Group will need the leadership of Chairman Ma to continue to steadfastly implement its strategy, reform and innovate in order to embrace the significant opportunities and challenges brought about by the new era and realize high quality and sustainable development.
As the Chairman of the Group, Chairman Ma will continue to play a leading role in Ping An's major strategic transformation, business model innovation, technological innovation, talent and corporate culture development. He will continue to lead the three Co-CEOs, who are, respectively, responsible for the three core businesses, and play an even greater role in the long-term healthy development of the Group.