UOB’s hottest new Singapore hire doesn’t come from a bank

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UOB’s hottest new Singapore hire doesn’t come from a bank

UOB has hired William Adeney from advertising agency Ogilvy as head of analytics for TMRW, the digital bank that it’s rolling out across Southeast Asia, outside of Singapore.

Adeney, who is a Singapore-based executive director, has joined amid a recruitment drive at TMRW, which was launched in Thailand last March and is expected to go online in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam this year. Most of TMRW’s jobs, however, are in Singapore.

In the year to October 2019, TMRW took on about 60 additional staff. About a quarter of them joined its ‘engagement lab’ in Singapore (which partners with fintech firms), while others moved into roles such as UX/UI, behavioural science, data analytics, and design thinking, Dennis Khoo, head of TMRW digital group, told us previously.

TMRW, which targets millennial customers, is regarded as one of the most innovative units to work in at UOB in Singapore, because of its deployment of emerging technology, such as using artificial intelligence to offer insights specific to individual customers. Last month it launched fingerprint and facial biometrics for account opening.

New TMRW recruit Adeney joined Ogilvy in Singapore in 2009 as data and analytics consulting practice lead, and was promoted to senior partner in 2018. He previously spent four years as head of market intelligence at Mercedes-Benz UK, according to his LinkedIn profile.

His hire highlights the recent trend of banks looking outside the finance sector to find senior data and analytics staff amid chronic talent shortages in those functions. In October, for example, Nikolay Novozhilov joined OCBC as a data scientist in its innovation unit, having previously worked for NTUC Link, the labour movement’s consumer loyalty programme, and Wego, a travel search engine.

UOB’s openness to non-banking candidates for TMRW jobs extends beyond data and analytics. “I look at your skills more than what industry you’re from,” Khoo told us.

Photo by Eugenia Clara on Unsplash

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