ANZ Bank CIO is now innovation guru

ANZ Bank CIO is now innovation guru

Peter Dalton has moved into a newly created innovation role as the bank puts more emphasis on its Indian operations to run day-to-day technology following an executive restructure.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group chief information officer Peter Dalton has moved into a newly created innovation role as the bank puts more emphasis on its Indian operations to run day-to-day technology following an executive restructure. On Friday, the bank announced that Mr Dalton would become group general manager, innovation, reporting to the group managing director of strategy, marketing and customer segmentation, Margaret Payn. The scope of his role is yet to be properly defined. In the statement, the bank said Mr Dalton would define and shape the future directions for innovation, and use his technical expertise to look at the potential of integrating emerging technologies to deliver better business results across the bank.

It said the position was created to drive new ideas and innovations to improve customer experience across all segments, and that it would announce more details to the market in coming months.

Mr Dalton, who has been at ANZ since 1995, will take up his new role at the end of January and the group managing director, operations, technology and shared services, David Cartwright, and deputy CIO Kieran Griffiths, will jointly manage technology while a global search for a new CIO continues.

It is understood ANZ is looking to appoint an IT chief with experience in handling international contracts and managing relationships with Indian suppliers. The bank recently flagged plans to transfer an undisclosed number of information technology jobs overseas as it chases $200 million a year in cost savings.

The move would add to the roster of 3000 workers that ANZ has in its Bangalore centre in India, which supports computer system development and maintenance for the bank's businesses across the region. The transfers would continue a gradual shift of technology jobs offshore that ANZ has pursued in recent years and would partially offset rises in local headcount driven by Basel II and anti-money laundering compliance programs.

In order to streamline its bureaucracy ANZ has been pursuing a strategy known as "One ANZ", which is focused on strategy development, technology and operations infrastructure, and sharing best practice.

The changes began at the start of October and it recently announced around 800 redundancies, mainly in middle management roles.

In October, Mr Dalton told staff that the restructure would centralise some functions and support ANZ's push to "become a technology-based, super-regional bank".

This involved the appointment of a host of information technology general managers, including the naming of Bangalore centre boss Ranjani Ranganath as general manager of technology strategy and business management.

Mr Dalton's move is a sign of just how heavily ANZ intends to rely on the Indian-based facility to develop core banking systems for its Asian banking strategy.

The centre is also expected to play a similar role in the replacement of the bank's ageing transactional platforms in its Australian operations.

In 2008, investment in information systems helped push ANZ's computer operating expenses up by 3 per cent year on year, to $609 million.

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