Man with hot skills leaves Julius Baer to lead expanding UOB team

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UOB has appointed Adrian Teo as head of information security governance. Teo has joined from Julius Baer, where he spent about three years as head of information security for Asia. UOB did not respond to a request to comment on the hire.

At Julius Baer, Teo led a team with regional responsibilities “encompassing policy and governance, regulation, cybersecurity risk management, security operations, data protection, education and awareness, technical information security, and third-party risk management”, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The UOB team Teo has just joined is expanding. There are nine vacancies in the information security unit (which encompasses cyber security) on UOB’s careers site right now, many of which are at VP level or above. A senior VP position in advanced threat research, for example, tasks the job holder with “engineering design and development of cyber security technology”.

Senior professionals with cyber and information security skills are in high demand and short supply in Singapore, so Teo’s hire is a significant one for UOB. Cyber security is among the top-five most valuable skills in the finance sector, according to a major Singapore government report published last month.

Most of the hiring over the last 12 months has come from banks such as UOB, OCBC, DBS, Citi, Standard Chartered and HSBC, which generate a high proportion of their income from Asia, and therefore need to employ more security professionals on the ground in Singapore, say recruiters. Citi is hiring in the function in Singapore in response to increasing digitalisation of its products and the growing “sophistication of the bad actors”, Vikram Subrahmanyam, the bank’s APAC CIO, told us in October.

Security jobs are becoming more in demand as banks tackle the growing threat of cyber attacks and seek to comply with increasingly vigorous local regulations, such as Singapore’s Cybersecurity Act, which became law in February last year. 

Teo’s hire is also part of a wider technology recruitment spree at UOB. Singapore’s third largest bank has made a number of other senior technology hires this year, including Albert Kho, who joined from DBS in September as a managing director, group retail and channels, technology and operations. As we reported earlier this month, it is likely that tech recruits account for a high proportion of the 1,115 new employees that UOB added to its headcount in the year to end-September. The bank’s Q3 results repeatedly state that it has “invested in talent and technology” in 2019, and about 42% of its current Singapore-based vacancies are for tech, digital and data roles.  

Teo, who is an executive director, started his tech career in the public sector in 2004 and then worked for Standard Chartered between 2007 and 2012, latterly as an information security and risk manager. Prior to joining Julius Baer in 2016, Teo was at JP Morgan for almost four years, latterly as a VP in cyber security.

Image credit: verbaska_studio, Getty

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