Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has foreshadowed a sweeping restructure of its A$768 million a year technology operations and management, cherry-picking a senior executive from the beleaguered Bank of Ireland to become its new chief information officer. ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said yesterday that the retail institution had hired career technologist Anne Weatherston to head a new technology division within the bank, a move that means responsibility for key systems will be transferred out of its existing operations and shared services group.
Ms Weatherston's appointment is a significant shift in ANZ's management plans because it has moved responsibility for technology strategy and execution out of the operations group, headed by David Cartwright, to report directly to Mr Smith.
Under the restructure, about 4000 software developers at ANZ's code factory in Bangalore will now report to Ms Weatherston. However, Mr Cartwright will retain control over assets such as property.
Technology strategy and delivery at the Big Four retail banks has come under intense scrutiny from institutional investors over the past year as it is seen as a competitive advantage in a sector that has been hit with a rapid succession of mergers and acquisitions over the past year.
Among the institutions to combine their operations are Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Bankwest, as well as Westpac Banking Corp and St George Bank. Both have embarked on enterprise-wide technology overhauls to integrate systems and drive down costs.
At the ANZ's annual results presentation last month, chief financial officer Peter Marriot said the bank would continue to upgrade its enterprise-wide systems "to create a more robust platform so that the group can grow", a statement many believe suggests the bank is considering further acquisitions.
The odds of a substantial technology shake-up at ANZ on the arrival of Ms Weatherston were boosted yesterday after a copy of her resume posted to professional networking website LinkedIn started circulating among banks.
The profile described Ms Weatherston as a "business and IT director specialising in the transformational change of both business and IT capabilities, specifically change using IT as a key enabler".
The document lists Ms Weatherston's specialties as "merger and acquisitions business and IT integration expertise" and "change definition and delivery" as well as detailing her experience in Britain at retail banking institution Abbey and the European arm of the National Australia Bank.
Some of the ANZ's mooted changes are already afoot. Head of infrastructure Kieran Griffiths will move out of operations and report directly to Ms Weatherston, the bank confirmed yesterday.
An ANZ spokesman said the exact structure of the technology organisation would be determined when Ms Weatherston joins the bank early next year.
• ANZ has appointed a new CIO who will report directly to the CEO.
• The new CIO will head up a new technology division within the bank.
Fairfax Business Media
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