From DBS to UBS: the heads of tech you need to know in Singapore banking

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Whether their focus is cyber security or machine learning, most global and local banks in Singapore are ramping up their technology recruitment.

But who are the senior managers in charge of banks’ technology strategy (and hiring) in Singapore? Here’s a selection of some of the top technologists you need to know if you’re searching for an IT role in the city state.

Susan Hwee, head of group technology and operations, UOB

Hwee manages more than 4,000 staff across Asia, is a member of UOB’s group management executive committee, and has more than 30 years of banking experience in technology and operations. After UOB finished standardising its core banking platforms in 2013, Hwee has been spearheading initiatives to transform the bank’s digital architecture and information security strategy, based on three “mega themes”: digital architecture, data, and security.

Manoj Bhojwani, head of APAC private banking technology, Credit Suisse

Bhojwani has been in his role since 2013, a period in which Credit Suisse’s Asian private bank has become more important to its business globally and has introduced a range of new digital products catering for the region’s millionaires and billionaires. He joined the Swiss firm in 2010 as Asia head of back-office IT for finance, risk, operations and corporate systems following a six-year stint as regional head of finance technology APAC for J.P. Morgan, according to his online profile.

Soh Siew Choo, group head of consumer banking and big data/AI technology, DBS

Soh took on her current role, which focuses on two of the most innovative areas in banking technology, in March last year, having worked as group head of core systems technology since 2014. Soh has been a key driver behind the DBS hackathon recruitment initiative, Hack2hire, and told us last year that she likes to hire technologists from outside the banking industry. Prior to DBS, Soh was head of Asia banking technology at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong.

Santhosh Mahendiran, global head of technology: data, analytics and AI, Standard Chartered

Unlike other international banks, Stan Chart bases a lot of its global CIOs and technology heads in Singapore. Mahendiran is among this elite group and is in charge of the bank’s strategy across some of its leading-edge technology, including AI. Mahendiran began his career 20 years ago as an analyst programmer at Polaris Consulting, supporting Citi, according to his online profile. He then moved to the US bank in 2004 for a six-year stint which included leading the development team that pioneered the first touch-screen banking systems in the world. Mahendiran joined Stan Chart in 2010.

James Aylen, head of UBS Evolve

Banks in Singapore are increasingly teaming up with start-ups, and fintech innovation labs are springing up across the city state. Aylen is leading UBS’s local fintech efforts via its Evolve unit, which was launched in 2015 and offers an incubation and acceleration programme to start-ups in the Asian wealth management sector. Aylen is a UBS veteran. He joined the firm as a developer in London in 2000 and moved to the US in 2007, where he worked in several IT outsourcing and business development roles, according to his public profile. Aylen relocated to Singapore in 2015 to take the helm at Evolve.

Pranav Seth, head of e-business and business transformation, global consumer financial services, OCBC

Seth leads digital strategy and transformation for OCBC's regional consumer franchise and Bank of Singapore, and is responsible for the overall management of online, mobile and ATM channels. He moved to the bank in 2010 as head of e-business, following a four-year stint at McKinsey & Co as an engagement manager. To join Seth’s team at OCBC, you need to prove that you’re a “rebel”, he told us last year. “I want to hire people who are going to introduce new ideas into the bank in a risk-mitigated manner”.

Himanshu Shrivastava, head of digital technology (APAC and EMEA), Citi

Shrivastava has risen steadily up the ranks since he joined Citi’s New Delhi office in 2003. Having been appointed architecture and infrastructure head of Citi’s global solution centre in 2007, he moved to Singapore two years later. Shrivastava became application director for global product development, global consumer technology, in 2015 and took on his current role – which encompasses internet, mobile, API, integration and CRM, and global consumer technology – a year later.

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

Image credit: baona, Getty

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