Charles Li retired from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing at the start of 2021 after serving as chief executive for more than 10 years. During his tenure Li orchestrated some of the most significant strategic initiatives in HKEX's history, including the 2012 acquisition of the London Metal Exchange, which provided it with its first commodities contracts, and the launch of central counterparty OTC Clear in 2013.
He also helped cement Hong Kong's role as a conduit for the outside world to invest in China with the launch in 2014 of the Stock Connect trading link between the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. This created a new opening for international investors to gain exposure to China’s domestic market. It was followed by a similar link with the Shenzhen stock exchange, as well as a bond market equivalent.
Prior to HKEx, Li served as chairman for JP Morgan China and was responsible for all of JP Morgan's businesses in China. From 1994 to 2003, he worked at Merrill Lynch China and served as president from 1999 to 2003. Prior to this, he practiced law in New York with Davis Polk & Wardwell and Brown & Wood.
Li was born in Beijing and was an offshore oil worker in the North China Sea and then an editor-reporter for China Daily before leaving China for further study.