The nine heads of tech you need to know in Hong Kong banking

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Heads of tech HK

Banks in Hong Kong  are ramping up their recruitment in technology and increasingly running into strong competition for talent from tech companies.

But who are the senior managers in charge of banks’ technology strategy (and hiring)? Here’s a selection of some of the top locally-based technologists you need to know if you’re searching for an IT job in Hong Kong.

Charles Gillet, APAC CIO for corporate and institutional banking, BNP Paribas

Gillet was until recently Societe Generale’s chief information officer (CIO) for Asia Pacific, but as we reported earlier this month, he has now jumped to French rival BNP Paribas. Gillet was a SocGen veteran who joined the bank in Paris in 1997 and was based in New York between 2000 and 2005, first as global head of equity cash technology and then (from 2003) as head of business analysis equity and derivatives. He relocated to Hong Kong in 2005 to become head of equity and derivatives technology for APAC and worked in three other Asian jobs, including APAC head of front office technology, before becoming SocGen’s CIO in 2014.

Evangelos Kotsovinos, Asia CIO, Morgan Stanley

Kotsovinos has been with Morgan Stanley for 11 years, but only got his current CIO job in June, according to his online profile. As a research associate at the University of Cambridge between 2001 and 2005, Kotsovinos led the research that developed XenoServers, “the first experimental cloud computing platform”. He then spent two years as a senior research scientist at Deutsche Telekom in Berlin, before moving to Morgan Stanley in London as a vice president in enterprise computing engineering. Kotsovinos relocated to Asia in 2014 and became Asia head of infrastructure and China CIO.

Sophia Leung, APAC CIO, JP Morgan

Leung joined JP Morgan in 2011 after a 20-year career at Morgan Stanley. Recruitment is high on her agenda – JP Morgan has been hiring “a few thousand technologists across Asia Pacific”, she told us previously. “My career has taken me around the world to roles in the UK, US and Hong Kong. A career in technology was attractive to me as it provided a broad platform that would challenge me and put me on a path of continual professional development,” she said.

Julian Simon, Asia Pacific ex-Japan CIO, Goldman Sachs

Simon has been a Goldmanite for almost a quarter of a century – he joined the bank in late 1992, according to his online profile. In September 2008 he left his job as head of securities technology for Asia to become Goldman’s CIO for Australia, a position he held until June 2013 when he took on his current regional CIO role. Goldman is currently hiring for its FAST team in Hong Kong, which turns data-driven insights into action points for the front office.

Max Nam-Storm, global CIO, CLSA

Nam-Storm joined CLSA in January 2014 to spearhead its technology strategy following the firm’s sale to CITIC Securities by Credit Agricole the previous year. His profile is full of senior IT roles at global banks, beginning with a seven-year stint at JP Morgan, where he eventually became head of Asia FI technology. He joined Nomura in 2008 as head of equities and prime IT for APAC before a stint at UBS from 2011 to 2013. Earlier this year, Nam-Storm founded AlphaLabs, a CLSA-backed Hong Kong based venture capital fund investing in early-stage fintech companies.

CK Chan, CIO retail banking and wealth management Asia Pacific, HSBC

Chan got his first job back in 1975 as a product engineer at a semiconductor company. He then spent 12 years at Hong Kong Telecom and two years as an IT lecturer at the City University of Hong Kong. Chan moved to Vancouver in 1990 and joined HSBC, eventually becoming a senior director in front-end systems. In 2007 Chan returned to Hong Kong and he has held several senior roles with HSBC since then, including head of channel systems for Asia Pacific. He was promoted to his current position in February this year.

Paul Gresham, chief information officer, Credit Suisse

Veteran technologist Gresham worked for firms including Barclays, Cantor Fitzgerald and BNP Paribas between 1987 and 2006, and then joined CLSA as head of client and research technology. Gresham, who was briefly head of IT for Samsung Securities, left the banking sector in 2012 to work for maritime firm Wallem Innovative Solutions for three and a half years. He joined Credit Suisse in 2016. In an interview with us last year, Gresham described his approach to recruitment as “tech first”, meaning he’s open to candidates not currently working in finance so long as they are “passionate about technology”.

Alexandre Godingen, Asia head of equities technology, Citi

Godingen is driving the tech behind Citi’s strongly-performing Asian equities business and managing more than 350 staff across Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Pune, and Shanghai. His remit spans cash equities, equity derivatives, electronic execution and delta one. Godingen joined Citi in 2016 after a four-year stint at financial software firm Fidessa, latterly as Asia head of business development and product management. He was Asia head of trading technologies and production services at CLSA from 2007 to 2012 and spent the previous nine years at Euronext, including three years as Japan chief technology officer, according to his profile.

Didier Sabardu, APAC CTO, Societe Generale

Sabardu boasts more than 20 years in financial technology and joined SocGen in 2008. He held four Paris-based jobs at the bank, including head of IT group infrastructure performance and global head of market data and middleware. Sabardu cut his teeth at Reuters, where he worked for 14 years from 1994, most recently as development group manager in the firm’s financial software department.

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Image credit: ansonmiao, Getty

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