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The 2016 Tech 50: David Gledhill

The head of group technology and operations at DBS Bank moves up to No. 26 from No. 31.

David Gledhill
Head of Group Technology and Operations
DBS Bank

Can a bank seriously be “committed to creating joyful banking experiences for its customers”? That’s how DBS Bank describes its marketing mission these days. After several years of ramping up one of the banking world’s most aggressive digital strategies, under the leadership of David Gledhill, Singapore-based DBS may actually be delivering on that promise. Gledhill, head of group technology and operations since joining DBS from JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2008, is adding on to a well-laid foundation. In the Singapore home market alone, there are 2.5 million online and 1.25 million mobile customers, according to the 2015 annual report by DBS, which has 439 billion Singapore dollars ($324 billion) in assets. Now the focus is on enhancements like person-to-person payments and voice and fingerprint authentication to make transactions easier, safer and, Gledhill emphasizes, more fun. He has a vast geographical expanse in which to roll out innovations: 18 Asian markets served by 280 DBS branches. In April, DBS launched digibank, India’s first completely branchless and paperless mobile banking service; it uses Siri-like conversational technology, and customer authentication piggybacks on the national Aadhaar identification card. The digibank app in Singapore runs on Apple Watch as well as on smartphones that rely on fingerprint ID to let customers check their balances with a simple swipe. “Digibank brought together groundbreaking technology, from biometrics to artificial intelligence to dynamic security,” says Gledhill, 54. “Plans are in the pipeline to replicate this platform in other markets.” Digitization is not confined to consumer interactions. “DBS is applying analytics to better understand and serve our customers and employees, and to enhance our operations and risk surveillance,” says Gledhill, who oversees more than 5,000 of the bank’s 22,000-plus employees. “Analytic tools are also being used by DBS’s audit and global transaction services teams to swiftly identify potential errant behavior.” He adds that he is “hugely passionate about creating a fintechlike workforce that adopts the habits of digitally native companies.” Employees are encouraged to collaborate with start-ups in hackathons and can apply to join an incubation program, DBS HotSpot, for mentoring and potential seed funding. In 2015 more than 2,000 DBS employees participated in these initiatives, Gledhill says.

Visit The 2016 Tech 50: Making Financial Services Faster, Cheaper, Bigger for more.

The 2016 Tech 50

1. Catherine
Bank of America Corp.
2. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange
3. Lance Uggla
4. Phupinder Gill
CME Group
5. Shawn Edwards and Vlad Kliatchko
6. R. Martin Chavez
Goldman Sachs Group
7. Robert Goldstein
8. Adena Friedman
9. Deborah Hopkins
Citi Ventures
10. Daniel Coleman
KCG Holdings
11. Stephen Neff
Fidelity Investments
12. David Craig
Thomson Reuters
13. Michael Spencer
14. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
15. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Chris Concannon
BATS Global Markets
17. Blythe Masters
Digital Asset Holdings
18. David Rutter
19. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw & Co.
20. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets
21. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings
22. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings
23. Robert Alexander
Capital One Financial Corp.
24. Brad Katsuyama
IEX Group
25. Antoine Shagoury
State Street Corp.
26. David Gledhill
DBS Bank
27. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group
28. Andreas Preuss
Deutsche BÖrse
29. Dan Schulman
PayPal Holdings
30. Scott Dillon
Wells Fargo & Co.
31. Mike Chinn
S&P Global Market Intelligence
32. Craig Donohue
Options Clearing Corp.
33. Gary Norcross
Fidelity National Information Services
34. Steven O'Hanlon
35. Sebastián Ceria
36. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz
37. Tyler Kim
38. Neal Pawar
AQR Capital Management
39. David Harding
Winton Capital Management
40. Chris Corrado
London Stock Exchange Group
41. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives
42. Jim Minnick
43. Stephane Dubois
44. Mazy Dar
45. Yasuki Okai
NRI Holdings America
46. Kim Fournais
Saxo Bank
47. Jock Percy
48. Robert Schifellite
Broadridge Financial Solutions
49. Brian Sentance
Xenomorph Software
50. Pieter van der Does

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