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The senior Hong Kong staff now spearheading HSBC’s big drive into AI

Of all the sought-after skills within HSBC’s sprawling Hong Kong operations, expertise in artificial intelligence – particularly machine learning – is right up there. In July, for example, the bank announced its first pilot machine learning projects using Google Cloud infrastructure.

HSBC has been developing new AI-powered platforms for the Hong Kong market (e.g. a local chatbot called Amy), but Hong Kong also serves as a global development centre for the firm, which generated 87% of its revenue from Asia during the first half of this year.

In contrast to most Western banks, many of HSBC’s senior AI and machine learning experts are in Hong Kong, not the US or Europe. Here’s a sample of these people, based on their online public profiles.

Ray Zeng, head of machine learning

The man you need to know if you want a machine learning job at HSBC in Hong Kong, Zeng is a 22-year veteran of the bank who has risen steadily up the ranks since joining as an analyst-level programmer within global cash management. After working in HSBC’s UK internet banking team between 2007 and 2010, Zeng returned to Hong Kong where he took on a series of senior posts, including global head of product engineering for global utilities, and chief architect for global operations. He took on his current role last December, according to his public profile.

KC Tsui, global head of applied innovation quality management and AI research director

Tsui’s team is responsible for “sourcing innovative solutions in the areas of AI, data science, RPA, blockchain, IoT, and similar emerging technologies”, according to his public profile. It also performs quality control before new tech solutions are deployed, and collaborates with research institutes and fintech firms. Tsui, who has a PhD in computer science from King’s College London, joined HSBC in 2003 as regional head of middleware technology services of IT operations Asia Pacific. He’s held several senior roles at the firm since then, including global head of DevOps tooling.

Martin Qiao, lead architect for machine learning automation

Qiao is in charge of “end-to-end solution architecture design” for machine learning and artificial intelligence related projects, according to his profile. He is HSBC’s main ML engineer on in-house solution development and leads research and development in natural language processing and computer vision. Qiao, who holds a PhD majoring in data mining and pattern recognition, joined HSBC in 2016 as a senior consultant for AI and cognitive computing, working on projects such as chatbots and automatic signature verification. The key machine learning tools he uses are Python, R, Matlab, SAS, AWS, and Google Cloud, according to his profile.

Soumyadip Mukhopadhyay, machine learning and AI lead, HSBC Asia Pacific RBWM analytics

Mukhopadhyay is responsible for machine learning and AI within HSBC’s retail and wealth management division in APAC and describes himself in his profile as “vastly experienced in AI applications like bots”. This is his second stint at the bank, having first worked there between 2007 and 2012 in various project management and business analyst roles. He then moved to Prudential Assurance, developing an analytics capability for the Indonesian market. Mukhopadhyay rejoined HSBC in India in 2014 and moved to Hong Kong in January this year.

Jasmeet Singh Gujral, global product lead for conversational banking and assisted digital products

Gujral’s team is using artificial intelligence to improve customer communication via the bank’s digital channels. It’s helping to “industrialise a pipeline of products that are built on cutting edge technologies like deep learning and natural language processing across all HSBC markets”. Gujral’s career has progressed rapidly since he graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Master of Science in Management Information Systems in 2012. After a brief stint as a senior associate in quantitative equity research at Citi, he joined HSBC in 2014 as a digital product manager and “one of the youngest AVPs in HSBC USA”. Gujral moved to Hong Kong in August last year.

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Image credit: 4X-image, Getty

AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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