Westpac Banking Corporation is assembling a team of senior information technology executives to drive integration and core banking system
projects following the company's $16 billion acquisition of St George
Recruitment in the past five months has brought in former Commonwealth
Bank of Australia IT executives, including the national roll-out
manager for CBA's successful, $250 million CommSee customer
relationship management program.
The recruitment of former CommSee project manager Jason Millett was
led by Westpac products and operations boss Peter Clare, himself a
former St George and CBA employee. Mr Millett has been posted in the
Westpac also confirmed last week that St George technology boss Paul
Newham had joined former boss Mr Clare's team as chief operating
officer for products and operations.
Recently anointed Westpac technology head Bob McKinnon, meanwhile, is
reshaping the bank's IT team with new recruits, including two former
CBA executives, one of whom also has a stint with Capgemini on his
Mr McKinnon, an ex-CBA CIO, has been joined by recently departed CBA
chief information security officer Sarv Girn, who has taken on the
mantle of chief technology officer.
Another former Capgemini and CBA exec, Paul Grundy, has been hired to
work on Westpac's transformation team under integration boss Brad
A spokeswoman for Westpac confirmed the hires. "In recent months we
have been increasing our IT capability ahead of the merger with St
George," she said.
"[The appointments] bring valuable integration experience and will
boost Westpac's capability."
The hires accompany a publicly announced restructure of the bank's
computing and communications department that has stripped it of
responsibility for operations, which are now under Mr Clare's control.
The restructure is part of a push by Westpac chief executive Gail
Kelly to improve information systems at the bank. The former St George
CEO and senior CBA executive has openly complained about the quality
of Westpac's IT.
"[The systems] haven't been all they need to be and they have let us
down from time to time," Ms Kelly said at the announcement of the
bank's full-year results this month.
"We recognise that they clearly need work to enhance their reliability."
The recruitment drive has delivered an important boost to the bank's
IT capabilities ahead of the complex integration of Westpac's systems
with those of St George, as well as ahead of the replacement of its
core banking systems.
While Westpac is yet to confirm the details of its IT systems
integration plan, it is understood to be considering replacing its
core banking system at the same time as it merges its operations with
those of St George.
It's a strategy that some analysts have warned will increase the risks
of both projects.
Analysts have also estimated that the Westpac-St George technology
integration will cost as much as $336 million.
Fairfax Business Media
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