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Jan Verplancke
Chief Information Officer
Standard Chartered
Last year: 37

Standard Chartered is "focused on the opportunities emerging from technological change." The words come from the 2011 annual review for shareholders by Peter Sands, the London-based, emerging-markets-centric bank's group chief executive, who added: "We believe technology will transform the industry. And we want to make it happen, rather than have it happen to us." Jan Verplancke takes it from there. "Over the past decade," says the 48-year-old chief information officer and group head of technology and operations, "technology convergence and innovation have changed how customers interact with their bank and manage their money." In China, for example, Standard Chartered worked with transaction processor Alipay to enable online customer payments to 460,000 merchants. The result was "a seamless, rigorous system providing customers state-of-the-art protection," says Verplancke, who is based in Singapore and commands 26,000 employees (out of Standard Chartered's 87,000 total) in 70 markets. "The evolution of the Internet and now mobile technology has resulted in game-changing shifts in banking," and mobile apps are sprouting all across Asia, asserts Verplancke, who joined $599 billion-in-assets Standard Chartered in 2004 after five years as Dell's CIO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.