Standard Chartered in Singapore has been staffing up its operational excellence (OE) team, which is tasked with streamlining, automating and standardising internal processes across the bank, following the appointment of a new MD earlier this year.
The latest senior recruit to the firm’s increasingly influential OE unit is Jeroen Steenbergen, who joined this month as a director, according to his public profile. Like many of his new colleagues, Steenbergen comes from a consulting background – he previously spent a year at Accenture, responsible for its corporate banking practice in Singapore and the ASEAN region.
Steenbergen has come on board seven months after the appointment of Singapore-based Martyn Benson, formerly APAC COO of Willis Towers Watson, as an MD and programme director of Stan Chart’s global OE function. Benson works with COOs across retail, commercial, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking to help them create “simpler, faster and better” (in the bank’s jargon) processes.
Operational excellence roles essentially involve change management and internal consultancy, and focus on “structural changes, targets and tracking, training and accountability, policy streamlining and digitisation”, according to OE job advertisements. They are also pivotal to CEO Bill Winter’s plans to improve returns and profitability at Stan Chart.
Steenbergen is not the bank’s only new OE-focused employee in Singapore. Last month, former UBS executive director Caroline Burnett joined as head of strategic initiatives and operational excellence, security technology. Earlier this year, Kajal Gupta moved internally from Stan Chart’s COO office to take a director-level OE role.
Many of Stan Chart’s OE staff are based in Singapore, and their profiles indicate the type of expertise you need to get into the function. Being a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt will certainly help, as will knowledge of business process re-engineering, digitisation, big data analysis, and robotics process automation.
Steenbergen’s own CV comes with a desirable mix of in-house and external consultancy experience. He started his career in 2004 and worked for KPMG in the Netherlands and Hong Kong, mainly focused on financial clients, for eight years. Steenbergen then spent five years at BNP Paribas, latterly as head of projects and change for APAC, before joining Accenture.
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