Ex-Citi MD returns to Singapore for new group-wide role at UOB

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In one of the most senior recent hires by a Singaporean bank, UOB has appointed former Citi MD Peter Vicente as a managing director in group operations. He joins the firm as it continues its hiring drive in operations and technology.

Vicente was previously working as a strategic advisor for future-state technology at Commonwealth Bank in Sydney, an eight-month project which ended in November and involved redesigning the firm’s digital banking platforms. Prior to that, he was based in Singapore as managing principle of global strategic clients at Wipro BPS, according to his online profile. He was also part of the global executive team during his stint of one year and four months at the Indian IT giant.

It was at Citi, however, that Vicente made his mark as one of the leading operations professionals in the Asia Pacific banking sector. He joined the bank in Sydney in 2006 as a director in credit operations and a member of the Australian senior leadership team, reporting to the CEO.

Vicente relocated to Singapore five years later to lead Citi’s transaction services business across Asia and was promoted to MD in the process. In 2014, his role expanded to include core operations and the “transformation of the consumer operations business across the region”. He also sat on the global core operations operating committee until he left the firm for Wipro in 2015.

His new move to UOB reaffirms the ability of Singaporean banks to hire operations and technology people who have been in the upper ranks of global banks. DBS’s new head of digital technology transformation, Ram Jayaraman, is a 10-year Citi veteran, for example.

UOB has been among the more aggressive recruiters in the Singapore banking sector of late. As we reported in November, its headcount rose by 219 year-on-year in the third quarter.

This increase was largely fuelled by tech and back-office hiring. And the bank is still taking on more engineers, analysts, digital designers, architects, project managers and data scientists, Susan Hwee, head of group technology and operations, told us previously. About 4,500 people work in Hwee’s department.

In October, UOB hired executive director Christopher Wee from Standard Chartered to help lead its digital product development in Singapore.

As we reported earlier this month, salaries in Singapore operations are increasing again after several years of stagnation. Over the past 12 months, offshoring to lower-cost markets has tapered off as banks have begun to reach their desired headcount levels in Singapore. At the same time, previously unemployed operations professionals have gradually moved into other positions, such as internal audit, and are no longer flooding the job market.

Image credit:  justhavealook, Getty

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