Rahul Sachitanand
Aug 3, 2022

Suresh Balaji, Sunshine Farzan land global marketing roles at Standard Chartered

EXCLUSIVE: The two industry veterans will be part of the bank's corporate affairs, brand, and marketing leadership team.

Suresh Balaji and Sunshine Farzan
Suresh Balaji and Sunshine Farzan

Suresh Balaji, who announced his departure as HSBC's APAC CMO last week, will begin work at Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) on August 5 as the global head of CABM, consumer, private and business banking for SCB. CABM is SCB's corporate affairs, brand, and marketing team.  

SCB has also hired Sunshine Farzan as global head, CABM, corporate, commercial and institutional banking (CCIB). She also has a geographic remit as head, CABM, for Europe and the Americas. She joined this role in mid-July and is based in Singapore.

Both Balaji and Farzan will report to Claire Dixon, CABM's group head.

Balaji will initially continue to be based in Hong Kong but may move to Singapore next year. He declined to comment on his move. 

As a 17-year veteran at HSBC, most recently as APAC CMO, he was a two-time member of Campaign Asia-Pacific's Power List. He has experience in marketing technologies, marketing science, data and analytics, digital acquisition, segment management, demand generation and brand growth. Besides his APAC CMO role, Balaji also headed marketing for HSBC Life globally.

He headed marketing across 18 markets and all lines of business and entities for HSBC in APAC. Balaji grew and scaled a marketing science unit at HSBC and started a partnership with Google that aimed to bring the company's creative, data, training and business capabilities to bear on specific marketing challenges.

Balaji also oversaw HSBC's acquisition of real estate in the Sandbox, making the first global financial services company to make a move into the metaverse. Balaji also presided over a campaign targeting Chinese students studying overseas, launched in April, which according to the company racked up 95 million overall views, including seven million views of the campaign video.

He also founded the HSBC Male Allies Network in 2018 and is now co-chair of the Hong Kong Male Allies Leadership Council, an initiative that includes Swire, EY, PWC, KPMG, Blackrock and JP Morgan. Outside of his HSBC day job, Balaji is a co-founder of the Web3 Marketing Association. HSBC hasn't announced a replacement for Balaji. 

Meanwhile, Farzan most recently led the global marketing and communications function at Tricor Group, a PE-backed professional services firm. In this role, she refreshed Tricor’s global brand with a multipronged approach including above-and-below-the-line advertising campaigns, followed up with thought leadership content delivered through social media.

Before she left Tricor, she oversaw a global brand relaunch for the company. This used a multichannel trilingual content strategy across paid media, earned media, and owned channels. The campaign aimed to improve the company's brand recall with top media, influencers, customers, prospects, and partners in Tricor's core markets—Greater China and Asean.  

In her previous role as CMO of MetLife Hong Kong, Farzan led the launch of the ‘My Dad’s Story’ campaign, selected by Unruly as ‘one of the 20 most shared video ads’ globally. She also helped to launch first-to market digital life insurance products in Hong Kong and contributed to the development of the first online breast cancer product.

“With their deep expertise and dynamic experience across various industries and markets, I look forward to working closely with them to build a word-class CABM team," Dixon stated in a media release. 

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