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UOB has hired an ex-Citi global head as Singaporean banks flex muscles

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UOB has taken on a senior IT infrastructure head, who spent more than 10 years at Citi, in another sign that Singaporean banks are flexing their muscles in the local technology recruitment market.

Industry veteran KV Anup Kumar resurfaced in UOB’s business technology service unit last month, having left Citi in April last year, according to his public profile. He was latterly regional application platform hosting head for ASPAC and EMEA at Citi, a Singapore-based role that he held for two years.

Kumar joined Citi in Singapore in 2007 as distributed platforms manager for ASPAC (Asia and South Pacific), in charge of server and enterprise storage platforms for “Citibank data centres and tech rooms” across the region.

From 2013 to 2015 he was Citi’s global head of server infrastructure, managing infrastructure solutions, data-centre builds and production operations for Cit’s institutional clients in capital markets, trade and treasury. Kumar spent the first nine years of his career at Indian tech giant HCL.

His move to UOB reaffirms the ability of Singaporean firms to hire tech professionals who have been in the upper ranks of global banks. Citi and Standard Chartered are particularly popular hunting grounds for local banks because of their large IT headcounts in Singapore.

DBS’s new head of digital technology transformation, Ram Jayaraman, is a 10-year Citi veteran, for example. And late last year, UOB hired executive director Christopher Wee from Stan Chart to help lead its digital product development in Singapore.

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. 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 August, close to a quarter (24%) of available positions across UOB, DBS and OCBC were in technology and digital banking, according to our analysis of their vacancies.

Image credit: AndreyPopov, Getty

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