UOB has just hired an executive director in this hot Singapore job function  

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UOB has recruited an executive director to help lead its digital product development in Singapore.

Christopher Wee has joined from Standard Chartered and is focused on trade product development and digital partnerships for group wholesale banking, according to his online profile.

He spent six years at Stan Chart in Singapore – his second stint at the bank – as global head of receivables solutions management for corporate and institutional banking.

Prior to that, between 2009 and 2011, Wee was head of product development, transaction banking, in the Asian business division of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. He established his career during an eight-year initial period at Stan Chart, during which he held several senior positions, including head of product development for China.

Product development in trade finance has recently become a sought-after role in Singapore, say recruiters.

“It’s critical as trade finance is one of the capabilities which is now being digitised, so there’s greater interest in people who have this skill,” says Farida Charania, Asia Pacific CEO of search firm Nastrac Group.

Several banks are currently trying to digitalise their paper-based trade-finance systems, which involve processing hundreds of pages of insurance, shipping and other documents for every transaction.

Earlier this year Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and UniCredit established the Digital Trade Chain, a blockchain-based trade finance platform being built by IBM. Citi and Standard Chartered are also among the firms investing in trade tech.      

“Singapore is a hub for trade finance, so people who can lead these digitalisation projects are now being hired here,” says another recruiter in the Republic.

Digital-banking product roles are in demand generally in Singapore, particularly within wealth management. OCBC is expanding its digital team and is willing to hire candidates from outside the banking sector to help overcome local talent shortages, Pranav Seth, head of e-business at the bank, told us last week.

Image: tupungato, Getty

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