HSBC has hired Jonathan Scott-Lee from Standard Chartered as its chief information security officer (CISO) for Asia Pacific.
Hong Kong-based Scott-Lee joined on 20 April and reports into group CISO Grant Bourzikas in New York. He replaces David Gee, who held the APAC role for just over two years and is moving to a newly created job as head of cyber security foundational training and awareness, according to an HSBC spokesperson.
Interestingly, Scott-Lee was previously CISO for Mox, the new virtual bank that Standard Chartered is launching later this year. As we reported last month, Mox has been hiring technology staff this year, on the back of aggressive recruitment in 2019.
Scott-Lee’s appointment runs counter to the trend of digital banks (seven others have been approved to operate in Hong Kong) poaching people from traditional banks, and suggests the newcomers may themselves become headhunting grounds.
The recruitment of Scott-Lee was underway well before HSBC imposed its hiring freeze on 26 March. However, the importance of cyber security to the bank’s operations means further hiring in the function is likely to be exempt from the new restrictions, because it is deemed to be business critical.
As we reported last week, rising demand for cyber security professionals is an industry-wide trend during the Covid-19 outbreak as customers increase their use of banks’ digital platforms and staff use technology remotely. About half the Singapore-based vacancies that have survived the freeze at Scott-Lee’s former firm, Standard Chartered, have a security focus to them, for example.
Scott-Lee joined Standard Chartered in Singapore in August 2016 as head of compliance for data, technology, operations, and outsourcing, according to his LinkedIn profile. He took on the virtual banking role and relocated to Hong Kong in June 2018 as one of the unit’s original members.
The technologist started his career in the UK and held software engineering roles between 2000 and 2009, primarily at Accenture and Deutsche Bank. In 2010 he joined BNP Paribas’ London offices as eFX product head (leading regulatory approvals to deploy electronic trading platforms), before moving to Singapore four years later as the French bank’s head of compliance technology.
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