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Friday, 30 September 2011 15:03

ANZ overhauls IT operations


ANZ Bank chief information officer Anne Weatherston has unveiled a radical overhaul of the structure and composition of the IT teams at the bank in order to meet the technology needs of the institution as it increasingly positions itself as a regional, rather than just ANZ-focussed,  financial services provider.

The announcement of the new team is intended to provide the muscle needed to deliver against Ms Weatherston's six year technology roadmap which she outlined back in July. Ms Weatherston joined the ANZ in early 2010 from the Bank of Ireland and now oversees the bank's overall technology programme which has a budget of around $1.5 billion a year.

The roadmap she laid out in July was founded on the maintenance of three separate core systems - one in Australia, one in New Zealand and one to support ANZ operations in Asia. Ms Weatherston announced to staff yesterday that she has now restructured IT into five teams - three global and two regional - intended to more tightly align IT supply and demand at the bank.

According to Ms Weatherston; 'Our new operating model meant we were able to further simplify the technology function making it even more service and customer focused, efficient and organised in a way to deliver better change outcomes.'

The three global teams will manage retail, commercial and wealth; institutional; and group functions. Two regional segments have been established - Asia Pacific Europe and America, and the somewhat less geographically diverse New Zealand segment.

A report in the Australian Financial Review this morning first signalled the restructure and the arrival of a swag of new IT honchos at the bank. While ANZ has not issued a press release, signalling it does not consider the appointments are likely to have any impact on its share price, a spokesman today confirmed a series of IT appointments.

The bank has also confirmed that Priyanka Paranagama, formerly CIO for group functions and Gary Sterrenberg, CIO Australia and retail are leaving the bank.

Opting for the title of 'general manager technology' for people leading the five new groups Ms Weatherston has also reduced the opportunity for confusion about people's roles - ANZ's technology ranks were previously littered with CIOs with different responsibilities.

Ms Weatherston is likely to be the only CIO left standing as a result of the restructure with clear oversight of all the bank's information systems. She will however be joined by several more women in senior IT roles with two of the five general manager roles going to women, one to a man, and two more yet to be appointed.

New recruits include Jayne Opperman who will join ANZ in January from Lloyds Banking Group to become ANZ's general manager technology, retail, commercial and wealth. Ms Opperman has held a series of senior roles including a stint at Commonwealth Bank. Former Westpac staffer Donna Vinci will take on the role until Ms Opperman joins.

Sarah Harland the former CIO of the UK's National Health Service who joined ANZ this year has been appointed general manager technology group functions.

Recruitment for the head of technology, institutional is underway with Gary Strain in the acting role.

Ian Rae who joined the bank this year and has been CIO for APEA assumes the mantle as general manager technology for APEA. His New Zealand counterpart is still being sought with Craig Sims heading up the group in the interim.

The bank also announced that Derek Youdale is leaving JP Morgan Chase & Co to take up the role as chief operating officer for technology and to lead Technology Business Services (TBS) from December.

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