As financial institutions this year worked to improve products and experience for customers and update legacy systems, some promoted or hired new people to their top tech spots.
Financial institution recruiters and tech executives consider location, organizational structure and reporting structure when they are filling or applying for top technologist roles, said Robert Voth, managing director at executive search firm Russell Reynolds.
“COVID reset the chess table with a piece that companies had never seen before, which is open location,” Voth said. “Prior to the spring of 2020, the vast majority of CIOs moved to corporate headquarters. At the end of 2022, less than half of our searches required their chief information officer to be at corporate.”
About 70% of companies want their top technologist based at headquarters, according to Jesse Reich, an executive director of Russell Reynolds. In contrast, about the same percentage of talent is unmotivated to relocate.
Additionally, Voth said reporting structure is vital. He added that companies that don’t have their chief technologists reporting to the top executive officers lose more than half of the potential talent pool.
Control of data and analytics is what Voth called “the bait that hooks the big fish.” Top technologists want oversight because data is the key to a better understanding of customers, Reich said.
Even as economic strain on the tech industry has meant more layoffs at many fintechs and Big tech companies, the executive technology roles at financial institutions have remained stable, Reich said.
“If you need a top technology officer, you still need one in a downturn,” Reich said. “You might have different priorities, you might want to digitize your supply chain for efficiencies, you might want to be moving more aggressively to the cloud, and to better control your infrastructure costs…I don’t necessarily think that we did fewer of those searches this year than we did last year, but their priorities may have changed and their team sizes have changed.”
Here are some of the new top technologists hired at banks, credit unions and fintechs in 2022:
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