Bank of Singapore has snared a senior technologist from rival Julius Baer as competition for tech talent heats up within private banking. Anju Tiwari joined BoS earlier this month as a managing director in operations and technology, according to his online profile.
Tiwari had been with Julius Baer in Singapore since 2010, latterly as an MD and COO for business projects and solutions in Asia. The veteran technologist led several high-profile projects during his JB tenure, including the three-year Asian IT integration between Julius Baer and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, following the Swiss firm’s takeover of BAML’s international wealth arm in 2012.
His move highlights a specific area of high demand within the Singapore job market: private banking technology. More tech jobs are opening up at private banks in Singapore as rich millennial clients demand round-the-clock investment advice and management via their smartphones, say recruiters. Led by the likes of industry leaders UBS, Credit Suisse and DBS, the city state has become a tech hotbed for most private banks.
Tiwari’s new firm, Bank of Singapore, is no exception to this trend. It’s spending about S$200m between 2018 and 2020 on digital projects, primarily to create more personalised content for clients using data analytics and artificial intelligence. Some of this money will presumably be used on projects led by Tiwari.
As a rule, private banks like BoS aren’t recruiting for business-as-usual tech roles in Singapore. “Technologists are primarily using new tech such as machine learning, big data and AI to digitalise the wealth industry,” says Shinjika Shukla, an associate director at recruiters Michael Page in Singapore. The tool UBS Advice, launched in 2017, uses a portfolio-monitoring system powered by AI to analyse individual client portfolios, for example.
Technology costs at large private banks in Asia were up 15% year on year for the first nine months of last year, according to consultancy Scorpio Partnership. “Headcount for technology roles within private banking is increasing, with more firms seeking technology candidates who already have wealth-product experience,” says Mark Li, a director at recruiters Randstad in Singapore.
New recruit Tiwari joins Bank of Singapore in the midst of an expansion drive – and not just in technology. Last year the firm, which is owned by OCBC, hit US$100bn in assets under management, and it wants to double that total by 2022, CEO Bahren Shaari told the Business Times last year.
Tiwari worked as an executive director for JP Morgan in Hong Kong from 2008 to 2010 and before that spent five years at financial software company Misys in London and Dubai. He began his career in 1995 and has also worked for firms including Hewlett-Packard, SunGard and Deutsche Bank.
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