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Credit Suisse hires technology cost cutter as banks prioritize senior IT hires

Colorful network cables connected to a switch

While financial services firms are cutting traders, there’s a simmering demand for senior technologists who can help re-shape their capital market functions.

Take Credit Suisse. The Swiss bank has just recruited Simon Tasker, the former head of capital markets technology and a partner at Deloitte.

Tasker comes to Credit Suisse at a time of significant strategic change. The Swiss bank is seeking to "reshape" its fixed income business and to focus more on its wealth management division. It's retreating from macro products and has shifted prime services trading jobs to Dublin. It's also been firing traders in both fixed income and equities and has separated electronic equities trading from the block trading of large orders.

It helps, therefore that Tasker - who joins as a managing director - is an expert in process change, business transformation and achieving operational efficiencies in investment banking. Before joining Deloitte, he worked for Royal Bank of Scotland, overseeing the global integration of its investment bank and ABN Amro’s wholesale markets division from 2006-2012. Tasker's arrival at Credit Suisse suggests big changes are coming.

Deutsche Bank is also in the midst of a big strategic change, for which it's hired some senior technology talent. Most significantly, Stuart Bevan, former head of capital markets technology at Citi, joined earlier this month to lead its cash equities technology division.

Deutsche's equities business is in need of some care and attention. The German bank's new senior markets leadership comes from this division, and in recent years the bank had focused on equities as an area of growth. In 2015, however, Deutsche's equities business lost market share, and statements from John Cryan this year indicate that Deutsche's had a bad start in equity derivatives trading. It's possible that Bevan has arrived to try tackling the problem.

The rash of senior technology hires suggests that the tech function isn't experiencing the 'juniorisation' trend that's evident on the trading floor. When it comes to technology banks are still looking to bring in experience.

Banks are also struggling to hold on to senior technologists, however. Michael Henson, who was head of financial markets technology at Standard Chartered for the past six years, has left. In a change of direction, he's just joined LCH.Clearnet as head of swapclear and listed rates technology and operations.

Photo: pixelnest/iStock/Thinkstock

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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