The heads of tech you need to know in Hong Kong banking

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Heads of tech HK

Banks in Hong Kong are ramping up their recruitment in technology and increasingly running into strong competition for talent from tech companies.

But who are the chief information officers (and other senior managers) in charge of banks’ technology strategy and hiring plans? Here’s a selection of the names you need to know if you’re searching for a technology job in Hong Kong.

Darryl West, group CIO, HSBC

HSBC generates about 80% of its profits from Asia so it’s fitting that its group CIO sits in Hong Kong. West’s technology unit – which employs about 40,000 people, across 53 locations – is driving a digital transformation of the bank, and is prioritising the development of mobile banking, machine learning, and speech recognition, according to HSBC’s annual report. West joined HSBC in 2015, having previously been group CIO for Barclays. He’s also worked for Lloyds, JP Morgan, Accenture and National Australia Group Europe.

Sophia Leung, APAC CIO, JP Morgan

Leung joined JP Morgan in 2011 after a 20-year career at Morgan Stanley. Recruitment is high on her agenda – JP Morgan has been hiring “a few thousand technologists across Asia Pacific”, she told us previously. “My career has taken me around the world to roles in the UK, US and Hong Kong. A career in technology was attractive to me as it provided a broad platform that would challenge me and put me on a path of continual professional development,” she said.

Charles Gillet, APAC CIO for corporate and institutional banking, BNP Paribas

Gillet was until recently Societe Generale’s CIO for Asia Pacific, but as we reported last year, he has jumped to French rival BNP Paribas. Gillet was a SocGen veteran who joined the bank in Paris in 1997 and was based in New York between 2000 and 2005, first as global head of equity cash technology and then (from 2003) as head of business analysis equity and derivatives. He relocated to Hong Kong in 2005 to become head of equity and derivatives technology for APAC and worked in three other Asian jobs, including APAC head of front office technology, before becoming SocGen’s CIO in 2014.

Julian Simon, Asia Pacific ex-Japan CIO, Goldman Sachs

Simon has been a Goldmanite for more than a quarter of a century – he joined the bank in late 1992, according to his online profile. In September 2008 he left his job as head of securities technology for Asia to become Goldman’s CIO for Australia, a position he held until June 2013 when he took on his current regional CIO role. Goldman in Hong Kong is currently expanding in equities technology and is growing its FAST team, which turns data-driven insights into action points for the front office.

Paul Gresham, chief information officer, Credit Suisse

Veteran technologist Gresham worked for firms including Barclays, Cantor Fitzgerald and BNP Paribas between 1987 and 2006, and then joined CLSA as head of client and research technology. Gresham, who was briefly head of IT for Samsung Securities, left the banking sector in 2012 to work for maritime firm Wallem Innovative Solutions for three and a half years. He joined Credit Suisse in 2016. In an interview with us, Gresham described his approach to recruitment as “tech first”, meaning he’s open to candidates not currently working in finance so long as they are “passionate about technology”.

Andrew Farmer, chief information officer, virtual bank at Standard Chartered

Although many of Standard Chartered’s technology heads sit in Singapore or London, Hong Kong-based Farmer is in charge of one of the firm’s most interesting and expansionist units – the new HK virtual bank that it is launching later this year. As we reported at the time, Farmer joined Stan Chart in January, and was previously CIO for international financial services at Commonwealth Bank in Hong Kong, a role he held since 2015. Stand Chart is one of eight businesses to be granted licences to operate online-only banks in Hong Kong in one of the biggest ever shakeups of the city’s finance sector.

Alexandre Godingen, Asia head of equities, prime and futures technology, Citi

Godingen is driving the tech behind Citi’s strong Asian equities business and managing more than 400 staff across Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Pune, and Shanghai. His remit spans cash equities, equity derivatives, electronic execution and Delta One. Godingen joined Citi in 2016 after a four-year stint at financial software firm Fidessa, latterly as Asia head of business development and product management. He was Asia head of trading technologies and production services at CLSA from 2007 to 2012.

Didier Sabardu, APAC CTO, Societe Generale

Sabardu boasts more than 20 years in financial technology and joined SocGen in 2008. He held four Paris-based jobs at the bank, including head of IT group infrastructure performance and global head of market data and middleware. Sabardu cut his teeth at Reuters, where he worked for 14 years from 1994, most recently as development group manager in the firm’s financial software department.

Image credit: Getty

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