Standard Chartered is hiring 300 new information technology staff in Singapore for its corporate and institutional bank (CIB) as it embarks on a major digital upgrade in the division.
The bank is investing about $300m globally over the next two years to improve its IT platform for CIB clients, says Michael Dargan, CIO of corporate and institutional banking at Stan Chart.
“And on the back of this, we’re recruiting about 430 IT people in CIB this year, including 300 in Singapore, 100 in India and 30 in London,” he adds.
Dargan says Stan Chart is looking for three main categories of IT candidates: project managers to drive implementation; business analysts to translate the bank’s needs into technology outcomes; and IT professionals experienced in the functions that the firm has now earmarked for expansion – including flow trading, e-trading, and its financial institutions business.
“Each job differs in breadth and depth,” says Dargan. “Some are deeply technical and don’t require a range of non-tech skills like leadership. While others are broader, with less focus on specific tech skills and more on relationship building and the ability to understand business and client requirements. We need both sets of people here – we don’t want to hire hundreds of techies who are technically strong but unable to turn tech solutions into business outcomes.”
He adds: “I wouldn’t want to hire 100% of these new IT people from the banking sector and I wouldn’t want to hire 100% from outside of banking either. We need diversity by hiring a good mix of talent.”
No matter their background, Dargan says he wants to recruit people who “aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo”. “I’d like team members to ask ‘why do we do it like that?’ and be challenged internally by our own people, rather than ultimately being challenged externally by competitors.”
Despite the increasing lure of jobs at Google and other tech giants, Dargan doesn’t believe it’s getting more difficult to hire good IT talent into banks.
“Yes, people are going to Facebook and Uber, but there are still plenty of techies who want the large investment budgets and the type of work that you get in banking. Banking is an inherently complex industry, which makes the work interesting, and you get to make a real impact. If you’re a senior director at Standard Chartered, for example, you may have a budget of $150m to invest.”
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