Tian Guoli has been promoted from his position at Citic Group. (Photo/CFP)
Tian Guoli has been named the next chairman of the Bank of China, replacing Xiao Gang who assumed the chairmanship of the China Securities Regulatory Commission last month. Tian was previously the general manager of the Citic Group.
It will not be an easy job for 53-year-old Tian, as the bank, which has of assets worth 12.7 trillion yuan (US$2 trillion), has slipped from being the most profitable among China's four major state-owned banks in 2003, with earnings of 28.7 billion yuan (US$4.6 billion), to last place in 2012.
When the Big Four were plagued by bad loans during the late 1990s, the government set up four asset management groups to handle underperforming loans, with Tian the head of one of them, the China Cinda Asset Management Company. His performance caught the eye of the nation's banking leaders and he earned a reputation for making profitable decisions despite holding bad loans.
As a graduate of an institute run by the central People's Bank of China, he is a contemporary of many current financial leaders, including Xiao Gang and Banking Regulatory Commission chairman Shang Fulin, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China governor Jiang Jiangqing, and China Construction Bank chairman Wang Hongzhang.