Money Matters - Simplified

DBS chief executive passes away

Mr Stanley diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukaemia in late January breathed his last on Saturday.

Singapore, April 11:
DBS Group Holdings chief executive, Richard Stanley died on Saturday morning after a short battle with leukemia. His body is resting at the Singapore Casket and his funeral will be held on Sunday at the Church of St Teresa in Kampong Bahru Road.

“After a brief fight, Rich passed on at about 8:45 (0045 GMT) this morning. All of us at DBS are deeply saddened by the loss," the bank said. "The board of directors will announce succession plans in due course."

Mr Stanley had sought treatment for what appeared to be ordinary flu-like symptoms after experiencing a cough and high fever. However he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukaemia in late January but had been responding well to medication. After two rounds of chemotherapy, the doctors felt the cancer was in remission. Maybe his weak immune system made him vulnerable to infection for his condition “deteriorated rapidly” over the last 48 hours and he succumbed to the infection.

Chairman Koh Boon-hwee stated, "All of us at DBS are deeply saddened by the loss. Although Rich had been with DBS for less than a year, he had endeared himself to many people in the bank and helped strengthen the DBS franchise during a very challenging time for the industry."

Mr. Stanley, 48, a U.S. citizen, is survived by his wife and three children. He replaced Jackson Tai as DBS chief executive in May 1 2008. He spent the last 18 years of his 28-year banking career in Asian markets such as Thailand and China.

His choice for CEO came as a surprise because of speculation. There had been speculation the job might go to Francis Rozario, who works for Temasek.
Stanley was chosen for his experience and a track record of acquisitions in China, where DBS wants to expand its business. His colleagues said he was an inspirational leader and brought a sense of purpose to the bank.

Stanley was not just a 'people's person' but also a banker with outstanding consumer and commercial banking experience. A bank employee disclosed 'Rich came across as a more personable CEO. During staff townhall meetings, he would share anecdotes about his family and throw in some Singlish for laughs.'

Stanley formerly headed Citigroup Inc. China operations, where he began his career in 1981. He rose to the position of China country manager in 1991. During his tenure he led a Citi consortium to acquire a controlling stake in Guangdong Development Bank. The deal that took place in 2006 was estimated to be worth $3.1 billion. Also, he participated in the purchase of a minority stake of another major Chinese lender, The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.

DBS declared that Koh will continue to oversee management, a role he had undertaken on after Stanley's illness in January. Koh had performed the similar duties between Stanley's appointment and his predecessor's resignation. The company disclosed that there will be no change in the bank's "strategic direction," and succession plans will be announced in "due course."