HSBC swaps private banking unit CEOs

Man walks past HSBC bank branch
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HSBC, one of the world's largest money managers for the ultra-wealthy, has changed the leadership of a key private banking unit that serves them.

Henry Lee is now global head and CEO of HSBC's Alternative Investment Group, replacing Peter Rigg, who is leaving the bank.

HSBC's alternative investment business manages and advises for more than $28 billion of client assets in hedge funds, private equity and real estate. The private bank manages $382 billion overall.

A spokeswoman for London-based HSBC, Louise Harvey-Miller, confirmed the move. She said the alternatives group is a "priority division" and that HSBC "will be investing heavily" in it.

"Henry will continue to grow HSBC Private Bank's market-leading alternatives business and embed the alternatives product portfolio ... into the core offering available to HSBC Private Bank clients," Harvey-Miller added in an email to CNBC.com.

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Lee was global head of discretionary investments for the private banking unit, a role he will continue. He will move from Hong Kong to London as part of the promotion.

The asset class heads within the alternative investment group are Heath Davies (research), Simon Garfield (portfolio management), Simon Jennings (private equity), and Paul Forshaw (real estate). All will report to Lee.

The CEO move comes after four senior people in the same unit departed last fall.

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Rigg did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He had been with HSBC since 1994, according to his LinkedIn profile.