DBS’s new senior hire comes from…a car sales website

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DBS’s new senior hire comes from…a car sales website

DBS is living up to its strategy of recruiting more technology professionals from tech firms rather than just rival banks.

Its new head of architecture for group consumer banking and big data analytics technology, Pedro Sttau, comes from iCar Asia, a company that runs automotive sales websites in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Sttau joined iCar in Kuala Lumpur in March 2015 as chief technology officer, and was also chief information officer from September of that year, according to his LinkedIn profile.

It’s not surprising that DBS has taken on someone who’s never worked in banking before for its latest senior tech hire. Soh Siew Choo, head of consumer banking and big data analytics technology (and presumably Sttau’s ultimate boss), told us in March that she was casting a wide net when recruiting. “For hiring in tech, we usually look for candidates outside the financial industry, as this creates greater diversity within our teams. We’ve been very successful in attracting candidates from tech companies and from other tech-intensive industries such as media, gaming, and telecommunications,” Soh said.

Sttau isn’t the only technologist who’s recently quit a tech firm for a senior architecture job at DBS in Singapore. As we reported earlier this year, the bank hired Charlie Cheng from Google in an MD-level enterprise architecture role. Meanwhile, in June, DBS poached Trevor Cheung from Huawei as managing director of ecosystems.

“In general, people from other industries provide different perspectives to problem solving,” Soh told us, adding DBS’s tech team has introduced a smart-casual dress code and cut down on meetings, following feedback from non-banking recruits. Most of Soh’s job descriptions make it clear that a non-banking background is desirable or even mandatory.

Sttau’s hire is also part of a wider tech recruitment drive at DBS. About 575 of the 1,363 new people that DBS added to its headcount in the year to end-June were what the firm classifies as “insourced” tech professionals – people who previously worked on DBS tech projects at vendors but are now employed by the bank. Our September analysis found that 36% of DBS’s Singapore-based vacancies were for technology or digital banking jobs.

Prior to iCar, Sttau spent about three and a half years working for now-defunct holiday website Late Rooms in the UK and Singapore, latterly as global brands programme manager. He worked in various IT jobs in his native Portugal between 1998 and 2011.

Image credit: welcomia, Gettu

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