Supporting $2.4 trillion in assets and 8,000 offices around the world, there may be no financial technology organization more vast and complex than that of HSBC Holdings. Technology chief and group managing director Ken Harvey, who climbed the operations and technology ranks since joining HSBC in Canada in 1989 as an assistant vice president, manages 100,000 employees and a $6 billion annual budget almost equal to the companys 2009 net profit of $6.7 billion.
The stated strategy is to consolidate and standardize systems to reduce or shift expenses and avoid the inefficiencies of separate systems for individual markets. Significant care has been taken in distributing this workforce across the globe to minimize concentration and operational risks, says Harvey, 49. Major sums are being invested in branch and ATM upgrades, particularly in the U.K. and the Asia-Pacific region. (HSBC is a dominant retail bank in such markets as Hong Kong and Singapore, and according to a recent Greenwich Associates survey it has the top market share in Asian corporate banking, cash management and debt capital markets.)
Before taking on his current role in 2008, Harvey was group general manager and chief information officer, leading the design, development and implementation of a standard set of global banking applications and overseeing the e-commerce, payment processing, purchasing and accounts payable functions.
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