GIC hires from Standard Chartered for its Singapore ‘innovation lab’

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GIC has hired a Standard Chartered director as it starts to expand its innovation lab in Singapore.

Brian Lim is now vice president at GIC Labs and is responsible for “experimentation and evaluation of emerging technologies relevant to GIC”, according to his online profile.

GIC Labs is an in-house innovation centre which uses new technology to help increase productivity across the organisation, and collaborates with partners such as fintech start-ups, academics and other innovation labs.

Lim spent two years and seven months at Stan Chart. As a director in payments innovation, he oversaw the evaluation, integration and commercialisation of new financial technologies into cash management products.

Lim, who graduated in 2008 with a Master's in Computations for Design and Optimisation from MIT, began his career with a two-year stint in the Ministry of Finance, where he “spearheaded” the adoption of financial analytics across the Singapore government.

He moved to the banking sector in 2011, joining Citi in Singapore as a cross-franchise management associate, according to his public profile.

GIC is not the only firm to be opening and staffing innovation centres in the Republic – 23 financial institutions showcased their labs at Singapore’s FinTech Festival in November.

Last year DBS and OCBC launched Asia X and The Open Vault respectively, which provide space for the banks to work with fintech start-ups. Several foreign firms, including Standard Chartered, Citi and Aviva, also have labs in Singapore.

Still, full-time jobs like Lim’s at innovation labs remain rare and highly sought after, says a Singapore technology recruiter. Many of the people working at labs are from early-stage fintech firms or are bank employees drafted in short-term to work on projects.

For the handful of full-time lab jobs on offer, financial institutions like to hire technologists who have experience of working with front-office departments and therefore have strong collaborative skills, says the recruiter.

Image credit: JK1991, Getty

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