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AIA Group headquarters in Hong Kong's financial district (Photo by Kenji Kawase)
Company in focus

AIA's new chief has big challenges -- and big shoes to fill

Insurer needs growth in China and a digital strategy to maintain its momentum

JOYCE HO, Nikkei staff writer | China

HONG KONG -- Mark Tucker, the respected chief executive of AIA Group, surprised financial markets on March 13 when he announced that he was leaving one of the world's largest life insurers by market value for HSBC, the struggling international bank. AIA's Hong Kong-listed shares fell 2.98% to 48.8 Hong Kong dollars that day, while HSBC shares rose 2.1%.

The market reaction was perhaps less dramatic than expected given Tucker's achievements in turning around the troubled insurer and making it a leading pan-Asian player after the American International Group, better known as AIG, cashed out of AIA in a 2010 initial public offering to repay a U.S. government bailout of approximately $180 billion following the 2008 global financial crisis.

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