Zarir J Cama
Zarir Cama started his banking career in 1967 and joined the HSBC Group in 1968. After two years training in London, he returned to India and worked in various operational, credit and branch capacities. He was posted to Hong Kong in 1982 to HSBC’s associate, The Saudi British Bank in 1988 where he finished as Deputy Managing Director.
In 1992, he worked in the then Head Office in Hong Kong and later at HSBC Holdings plc in October 1993 in the Group’s new Headquarters after the acquisition of Midland Bank PLC.
In 1998, he was transferred to India as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and appointed Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India in October 1999. He was the first Indian to head the Group’s operations.
During his service in India he was appointed a Group General Manager of HSBC Holdings plc.
He moved to Malaysia as Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd in November 2002 - the first Asian to hold this position.
In June 2007, he came back to the Group’s Head Office in London to set up a new International Division overseeing the Group’s business worldwide. In 2009 he was given overall responsibility for the Group’s Continental European business comprising 19 countries in which HSBC is represented. On re-organising this area, he moved in February 2010 to his last role as Group General Manager – Group Management Office.
He retired from the HSBC Group at the end of 2011 after 44 years service but continues as a Non-Executive Director HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA. He is a Non-Executive Director of Tata Capital UK and Tata Capital Singapore and its other subsidiaries, Intelligent Energy Plc, IL&FS Wind Power Management, I B Tauris UK Ltd, The Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDG) and is an Advisor to a Fund for Afghanistan and to a US Property Fund.
He is a committed environmentalist, a passionate conservationist and an advocate of the Arts.
He was the moving spirit in marking HSBC’s 120th year in Malaysia and the release of its anecdotal history “HSBC Its Malaysian Story” and has also been responsible for the publication of two histories of personal experiences during the Japanese occupation of Malaya in WWII.
Whilst in Malaysia, he initiated and completed the restoration of “Suffolk House” in Penang - a unique Anglo-Indian style mansion which became the seat of Government during British times.
He was conferred the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (D.S.P.N.), which carries the title ‘Dato’, by the Governor of Penang in July 2006. In April 2007 he was conferred the Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak (D.P.M.P.) by the Sultan of Perak on the occasion of His Majesty’s 79th Birthday, the only foreign banker to have been so honoured twice.
In London, he is on the Council of the British Malaysian Society and a former Council Member of The Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He is a Trustee, Director and Vice-Chairman of Asia House, the only such organization in Britain which embraces and promoted the Century of Asia as its core value. He is also a Trustee of Britain’s National Youth Orchestra and is Chairman of a Trust set up in the UK to help villages in India become self sustainable.
In the UK, he is a member of M.C.C., The Royal Automobile Club (RAC), The Oriental Club, Annabels and The Arts Club.
In India, he is a member of The Bombay Gymkhana, The Willingdon Club, The Royal Western India Turf Club, The Royal Bombay Yacht Club and The Ripon Club.
Zarir Cama was born in Bombay, India on 26 May 1947 and educated at St Paul’s School, Darjeeling and St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He is married to Shelialla and they have two children, Nyresa aged 32 and Yashan 28, both of whom currently live and work in London.