Barclays' chief technology officer Kevin Lloyd admits that he rose through the ranks from working in a branch to running the IT of one of the biggest banks in the world the hard way, through sheer hard work and determination rather than the old boy network. Silicon.com's Andy McCue talked to him to find out what makes him tick.
Kevin Lloyd's path to becoming CTO not only in one of the world's largest banks but for a company that, with an annual IT investment budget -- not including running costs -- of some £325m, is one of the largest IT operators globally, is not exactly typical.
London-born into a blue-collar background, Lloyd left full-time education after his A-levels and started working on the frontline in branch banking for NatWest. "From my background, to get a job that wasn't in the building and construction industry was a result. To have gone to school and got A-levels was an achievement," he tells me in the plush surroundings of a corporate dining room at the bank's headquarters.
But he soon realised that without a degree and management training he wouldn't get very far in financial services and studied for a degree in computer sciences and business studies while working full-time.
"I very quickly worked out you didn't get anywhere in a bank unless you came in on a management development programme, which was graduate intake. I realised you needed post-school qualifications if you were going to make a career in any of these blue-chip companies," he says.
That got him onto his first step on the ladder managing a technical transformation project at NatWest. Following that Lloyd applied for a transfer into the computer services subsidiary of the bank as a business analyst and project manager. "I stayed there for a good many years, which was excellent developmental background," he says.
His first major move in the industry was in 1986 when he was offered three positions, one at Midland Bank (now HSBC), one at Kleinwort Benson (later bought by Dresdner Bank) and one at Barclays. Lloyd joined Barclays to head up its 'end-user computing' division and has been with the organisation ever since.
"We fired up this function in London and it was fantastic and went really well. We did some great stuff in and around the early days of client-server computing."