Senior banking technologists quit to become fintech gurus

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Banks have been battling over senior technology professionals over the past six months, but they have a new problem – top technologists are reinventing themselves as fintech gurus.

It makes sense – if you’ve secured decades of experience working at the top of the technology tree in banking, why not get involved with the disruptive IT start-ups, rather than sticking with the more rigid hierarchy of a large financial institution?

Rhomaios Ram, for example, the former founding partner of Deutsche Bank’s digital bank who left in September has reinvented himself as a fintech strategist. He’s involved with Startupbootcamp, is a partner at blockchain data exchange Ohalo, and an analyst at (again, blockchain-focused) firm TechVision Research.

Henry Richotte, who also co-founded Deutsche’s digital bank, left in December. He’s now founded RitMir Ventures, a VC firm that helps seed fintech start-ups.

Kerim Derhalli, the former head of global equities trading at Deutsche Bank, turned CEO of fintech start-up Invstr is advising students and experienced finance professionals alike to get involved with disruptive start-ups, rather than working for a large financial institution. Everything from M&A advisory to research to money transfer is being disrupted, says Derhalli. “And this has big implications for people who are looking to go into finance.”

The implication is that senior technologists in banking would rather be on the outside looking in at the potential disruption from fintech start-ups. Late last year, former UBS group CIO Oliver Bussmann left the bank to start his own fintech consultancy Bussmann Advisory, which looks to advise on key trends in the sector.

Bussmann told us previously that fintech firms – particularly those with a B2B focus – will increasingly be looking to hire in financial services domain knowledge rather than simply technical expertise, in order to present the business case to large financial institutions and get over regulatory hurdles.

Some recent career choices are evident of this trend. Richo Strydom, most recently chief technology officer for Credit Suisse’s solutions and risk technology within its investment bank, has just joined payments fintech start-up Bankable as chief operating officer.


Photo: Getty Images

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