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Westpac shuffles tech team with key hires

Westpac Group has hired a former SAP exec and has promoted an existing Westpac employee to join the ranks of its technology team.

Westpac Group has announced two senior appointments to its technology team on Tuesday.

The bank has welcomed Robert Wilson, former SAP global head of retail banking and strategic engagements in the global financial services unit, as the company's new CTO and general manager of technology strategy and architecture. He will begin the role in January next year.

Richard Holmes, who has worked for the Westpac Group for 15 years and most recently as CIO of Westpac retail and business bank and BT Financial Group, has been appointed to the general manager of infrastructure and operations role, and starts his new position on Tuesday.

Both Wilson and Holmes will be reporting to chief information officer Dave Curran, who only officially took up the CIO role on September 8.

"Both Robert and Richard are highly regarded IT professionals, and I'm looking forward to working with them in their new roles," Curran said.

During his time at SAP, Wilson developed and executed strategic transformation programs for large financial institutions in Asia, Europe, and the United States, including Deutsche Postbank, Standard Bank, CBA, ANZ, Maybank, HSBC, RBC, and Kiwibank.

Westpac said that Wilson will play a "key part" in re-architecting the bank's systems of record, engagement, and insight, which will contribute to delivering the bank's customer service hub.

Curran said that the bank is also on a "global search" to fill two more roles — a general manager to lead applications development and a general manager to lead business integration.

Westpac has been rolling out its digitisation program since 2009 , when it first mapped out plans to consolidate its Westpac and St George brands onto a single core banking platform.

The bank has also since launched a new online banking platform, new contactless payment functionality for Samsung Galaxy and Note devices, and the first phase of its BT Panorama platform in the form of BT Cash, and has been incrementally rolling out its merchant terminals with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

The digitisation program has been so successful that Westpac attributed the AU$3.6 billion uplift in net profit for the six months to the end of March 2014 to the progress it has made.