Louisa Cheang Wai-man, the former Hang Seng Bank CEO, died last week at the age of 57, the lender said.

A memorial service will be held in Wan Chai on Friday, a source said. Hang Seng Bank confirmed Cheang's death in a statement late on Tuesday after sources had reported earlier in the day.

Hang Seng Bank first revealed that Cheang was undergoing treatment for a "recently diagnosed medical condition" in July last year, but said that she could still carry on with her duties. In May this year, she took a three-month leave of absence, which was extended in August, the bank said at the time. She was also replaced as CEO by Diana Cesar, HSBC's Hong Kong CEO, from September 1.

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Cheang had served as Hang Seng Bank's vice-chairman and CEO since July 2017. She took the top job after the retirement of Rose Lee Wai-mun.

Her career began in 1999 at HSBC, in personal finance, marketing and retail banking. She was the third female CEO at Hang Seng Bank, which also has the highest representation of women leaders among retail lenders in Hong Kong. About 53 per cent of its executive committee members are women.

"Hong Kong still has a significant way to go," Cheang said in a written interview with the Post in March. "Our approach to diversity is centred on creating an internal culture that is inclusive and built on systems of meritocracy. We view greater internal diversity as a way to drive growth and as an important business advantage."

Besides gender diversity, she also pushed Hang Seng Bank to go digital.

"We started our Hang Seng journeys almost at the same time four years ago. I remember she summoned me to her office on my very first day and told me her expectations of what digital should be for Hang Seng," Herman Cheng, head of digital banking at the bank, said in a post on LinkedIn.

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"Louisa was a joy to work for – fast decision making, set clear direction, opened to new ideas. And she had very progressive thinking on digital and definitely high expectations of her teams. She will be missed," he added.

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