Why Standard Chartered didn’t recruit from a rival bank for new Asia-head role

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Brent Muir Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered has hired from one of Australia’s main financial regulators for its new APAC head of information security, cyber forensics, as shortages of cyber talent continue to bite in Asia.

Brent Muir joined Stan Chart last month in the Kuala Lumpur-based role, but his remit covers all of Asia Pacific. He was previously national manager of evidence services forensics at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), where he led the digital forensics investigation team, according to his online profile.

That Muir was relocated from Australia to Asia should come as no surprise. Cyber and information security and forensics is one of the most sought-after functions within the Asian banking sector, and one of the few jobs for which banks will still regularly recruit from abroad.

Demand is being driven not just by the threat of online attacks, but also by the need to comply with increasingly vigorous regulations, such as Singapore’s Cybersecurity Act, which became law in February. Financial-regulator employees such as Muir have therefore become a target for banks looking for both cyber expertise and legal know-how.

Hiring from regulators also helps to control the current merry-go-round of cyber security and forensics professional among banks in Asia.

Stan Chart has itself lost staff to rivals. As we reported last month, Anthony Fung, the former head of cyber forensic and threat intelligence at Stan Chart’s global business services division, is now OCBC’s head of group red team (the unit that hacks the bank’s systems to test vulnerabilities) for cyber intelligence, forensic.

Both Fung and Muir share a background in law enforcement. Fung set up the technology crime division within the Hong Kong Police in 1997, while Muir worked as a senior investigative computer analyst for the Queensland Police Service in Australia between 2008 and 2012.

After leaving the police, Muir joined ASIC as a computer forensic analyst and was promoted into his national manager role in May 2016. In this job, his responsibilities included providing “strategic direction to ASIC in relation to cyber security risks and challenges” and developing policies “in relation to the capture, processing, and data governance of digital evidence to meet future challenges (e.g. encryption, cloud computing, IoT, mobile devices)”, according to his profile.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: smortlock@efinancialcareers.com

Image credit: winhorse, Getty

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