China's New Banker

Vincent Cheng bristles at the suggestion that ethnicity played a part in his becoming chairman of Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. last month. "I don't see myself as different from my Indian or British colleagues," he says. But Cheng--the former anticolonial student leader who is the first Chinese to head the once colonial bastion--has long defied expectations. After being detained in the early 1970s while protesting for better treatment of Hong Kong's poor, he became an in-house adviser to the colony's British Governor in the late 1980s. Now he will have to prove he can navigate the bulky $316 billion Asia-Pacific...

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