Weihua Ma, Ph.D.

CEO and President, China Merchants Bank

Weihua Ma

Since 1978, when China began implementing reform and open policy, the Chinese banking industry has developed rapidly and undergone profound and historic transformations on its path to modernization and globalization. The story of China Merchants Bank (CMB) arguably best reflects this part of China’s recent history. Though CMB began as a small, regional bank barely known on the national stage 24 years ago, from those humble beginnings, CMB is the seventh largest bank in China today and is consistently labeled as “The Best Retail Bank of China” by consumers, the media, as well as its competitors. At his talk, Dr. Weihua Ma, the President and CEO of CMB since 1999, will review and reflect on the path of reform and development of the Chinese banking industry over the past decade. He will share his unique insights and experiences about the strategy, management and culture of CMB, which have been crucial to the bank’s remarkable growth and success.

Dr. Ma is one of the most respected and influential pioneers of reform and innovation in the Chinese financial-services industry. Since taking the president’s job twelve years ago, Dr. Ma, a former central bank official, has turned CMB into the most profitable bank in China. Although CMB accounts for only 0.4% of the total branch network of China’s banking system, the Bank posts a profit worth 3% of China’s whole banking industry. Dr. Ma was named the “Retail Banker of The Year (2008)” by The Asian Banker, “Asia’s Best CEO” in 2009 by Finance Asia, and the “China Business Leader of the Decade 1999-2009″ by the China Central Television (CCTV). Dr. Ma is a frequent speaker at top Chinese and international universities, and an adjunct professor at Peking University and Tsinghua University. The bank’s credit card business has been written into a case study at the Harvard Business School.