UOB nabs an HSBC CIO, shifts him to Singapore

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Setio Darmawan, a veteran HSBC technologist who was latterly its chief information officer for Indonesia, has moved to UOB as the Singaporean firm continues its digital hiring drive.

Darmawan joined the Republic’s third largest local bank at executive director level earlier this month, relocating from Jakarta to Singapore in the process, according to his public profile.

UOB has been among the more aggressive recruiters in the Singapore banking sector of late. Its headcount rose by almost 300 people last year compared with 2016.

This increase was largely fuelled by hiring techies like Darmawan. The bank is still taking on more engineers, analysts, digital designers, architects, project managers and data scientists, Susan Hwee, head of group technology and operations, told us previously. About 4,500 people work in Hwee’s department.

Darmawan’s moves comes just weeks after UOB took on senior IT infrastructure manager KV Anup Kumar, who was previously regional application platform hosting head for ASPAC and EMEA at Citi. In October, UOB recruited executive director Christopher Wee from Standard Chartered to help run its digital product development in Singapore.

These hires reaffirm the ability of the three Singaporean banks – UOB, DBS and OCBC – to poach tech professionals from the upper ranks of global firms. Citi, HSBC and Stan Chart are particularly popular hunting grounds for local banks because of their large IT headcounts in Singapore.

Close to a quarter (24%) of available positions across UOB, DBS and OCBC were in technology and digital banking, according to our analysis of their vacancies late last year.

Darmawan spent three years at AIG and GE Money before moving to HSBC in Indonesia in 2007 as an IT development manager. He worked for the bank in Hong Kong between 2011 and 2014 in technology management roles. Returning to Jakarta in 2014, Darmawan became the local head of software delivery and was promoted to CIO the following year.

Image credit: Stephiii, Getty

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