The architect of OCBC Bank’s regional expansion, and overseer of several notable buy-outs, Samuel Tsien has recently been advising to the board after 14 years at the financial institution


Samuel Tsien was appointed as adviser to the board of OCBC Bank in January 2021, following his retirement after a 14-year stint with the financial institution. Tsien oversaw a number of successful acquisitions in his time at the helm of OCBC—chief among these was the buyout of Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank in 2014, which was the largest takeover in its history. OCBC’s Greater China earnings tripled in the five years following the acquisition.

Bank of Singapore, OCBC’s private banking division, also acquired the wealth and investment management business of Barclays in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016. In 2017, OCBC purchased the retail and wealth business of National Australia Bank in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Tsien, who has 37 years of banking experience, joined OCBC in July 2007 as global head of the corporate bank, and became group CEO five years later. He was appointed to the board in 2014. Before OCBC, Tsien was president and CEO of China Construction Bank (Asia).

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Tsien’s successor as OCBC group’s CEO, Helen Wong, was the first woman to head a Singapore bank when she took over in April 2021. 

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