ANZ Bank to shuffle tech executive deck

Due to the looming departure of its COO, ANZ has changed its executive structure.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

With ANZ Banking Group COO Alistair Currie set to depart later in the year, the bank has taken the opportunity to rearrange its senior technology-focused role structure.

Once Currie leaves in the coming months, ANZ CIO Scott Collary will answer to chief executive Shayne Elliott; deputy CEO Graham Hodges will take on Group Hubs, Enterprise Services, and Group Property responsibilities, with current COO for Enterprise Services Craig Sims to take on the role of group general manager of Operations and Services, overseeing both hubs and enterprise services under Hodges. Current general manager for Transformation Projects Nigel Dobson will be appointed to Wholesale Digital Strategy and Payments Transformation, and report to group executive Digital Banking Maile Carnegie, who joined the bank from heading up Google Australia earlier this year.

Currie took on the chief operating officer role within ANZ in October 2011, and also took on CIO responsibilities following the departure of CIO Anne Weatherston in April 2014, until the appointment of Collary in November of that year.

In recent months, ANZ has found itself as the only member of Australia's big four banks to embrace Apple Pay, and was of the first group of banks to work with Android Pay.

The new structure would help the bank continue the progress it has made on the technology front, CEO Elliot said.

"This progress highlights the importance of Alistair's contribution to ANZ. He joined us in 2008 and led the creation of our regional Transaction Banking business. He became group chief operating officer in 2011 and has built a strong regional team and an approach to Technology and Operations which has significantly improved service quality for customers as well as delivering consistent productivity gains," he said.

"During this time, Alistair also played a key role in setting the early direction for our digital transformation. I understand Alistair's desire to further his international banking career, and I thank him for his contribution."

According to its competitors, ANZ had signed up to an agreement among Australia's banks to attempt to negotiate with Apple to gain access to the NFC elements within iPhones as a collective, but changed their mind.

"They chose to pull a fast one on their competitors and their joint applicants earlier this year when they withdrew from the group of applicants and decided to negotiate separately with Apple," Novantas senior advisor Lance Blockley said in July.

ANZ bank has used its Hogan core banking system from CSC for many years now, with Collary telling journalists in July it will suffice for the near term.

"What you think of as traditional core, the product processor, that's just a geo-financial transaction processor," Collary said. "So the fact that we can get a lot of change running through the rest of the organisation on daily, weekly, biweekly basis in terms of updates, the core piece in terms of how it is running is not really hindering anything.

"We've actually also partnered with IBM, we have in our new mainframe operating system, we just upgraded. There's something called z/OS Connect from IBM that allows you to write APIs directly into the new CICS [customer information control system] version so that you don't have a lot of the traditional integration layers. So an API can be written directly into a core banking platform running on the mainframe in half the time for a fraction of the cost of what it to require for integration.

"It kind of mitigates the need to do anything in terms of replacing that product processor, it will continue on for a good, long time -- and it's more modern, more modular, kind of environment anyway, even though it is a few years old, it has the capability we need."

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