Meet the ex-Citi man driving the $10bn strategy in UOB’s most innovative unit

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Meet the ex-Citi man driving the $10bn strategy in UOB’s most innovative unit

UOB has hired Arvid Swartsenburg as the head of strategy of its stand-alone digital bank TMRW. His move comes as TMRW, which was launched last year, builds up a senior leadership team. As we were the first to report, William Adeney joined from advertising agency Ogilvy as head of analytics in January.

Swartsenburg previously spent more than seven years, latterly as a principal, at Singapore-based Arete Financial Partners, a boutique management consultancy and investment advisory firm focused on change management in the finance sector. Prior to that, he was at Citi for about six years, latterly as head of Citi at Work, a workplace-banking programme, in Singapore.

At UOB, Swartsenburg is now responsible for driving the “development and refinement of TMRW strategy in South East Asia”, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has a lot on his plate as UOB attempts to gain market share for the online-only bank, which targets digital-savvy Millennial customers in Asean markets outside of Singapore.

UOB expects to launch TMRW (which has been operating in Thailand since March 2019) in Indonesia later this year, UOB chief executive Wee Ee Cheong said in February, adding that the market opportunity in Asean countries is worth S$10bn, based on the lifetime value of the young professionals that TMRW is targeting in the region.

While TMRW operates outside of Singapore, most of the jobs it’s creating are in the city state. In the year to October 2019, TMRW took on about 60 additional staff. About a quarter of them joined its ‘engagement lab’ in Singapore (which partners with fintech firms), while others moved into roles such as UX/UI, behavioural science, data analytics, and design thinking, Dennis Khoo, regional head of TMRW Digital Group, told us previously.

TMRW is regarded as one of the most innovative units to work in at UOB in Singapore, because of its deployment of emerging technologies, such as using artificial intelligence to offer insights specific to individual customers. In December it launched fingerprint and facial biometrics for account opening.

UOB’s first quarter results are due out later today.

Photo by Yanny Mishchuk on Unsplash

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