With financial support and other encouragement from the city-state government and central bank, Singapore has established itself as a hub of financial-technology innovation rivaling those of the U.K. and U.S. Even before the fintech boom of the last several years at least since David Gledhill became head of group technology and operations in 2008 DBS Bank was investing aggressively in automation to serve a highly mobile and tech-literate customer base across 18 markets, six of them considered priorities: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the home base of Singapore. Today the bank, with 482 billion Singapore dollars ($354 billion) in assets, calls itself "digital to the core" and aspires to be, as stated in its most recent annual report, "a 22,000-person startup" (that being its total number of employees). Out of 7 million consumer banking and wealth management customers, more than 3 million are banking on the Internet and 2.2 million using mobile devices. Gledhill, 55, a Briton and former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive who is now DBS's group chief information officer, oversees 10,000 professionals (about 85 percent are on staff; the rest are vendors and contractors). In February the group announced plans to recruit 100 developers skilled in big data, machine learning, and other disruptive technologies in a hackathon competition dubbed Hack2Hire. The bank also nurtures young talent through the UNI.CORN internship program, which, now in its second year, fielded more than 1,000 applications for 24 spots.
The 2017 Tech 40Click below to view profiles