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Hiring coup for BNP Paribas as it takes on SocGen’s Asia CIO

Charles Gillet, Societe Generale’s chief information officer (CIO) for Asia Pacific, has joined French rival BNP Paribas, in one of the most noteworthy job moves in Hong Kong banking technology this year. Gillet, a 21-year Soc Gen veteran, is now APAC CIO for corporate and institutional banking (CIB) at BNP, based in Hong Kong, according to his online profile.

His departure is a major loss for SocGen because, as we reported in an interview with him last December, he had been spearheading a drive to hire C++ developers, Java developers, project managers and business analysts in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong.

Gillet’s approach to hiring at SocGen may provide some clues as to the type of experience you now need to get a job working for him at BNP. For starters, he’s a fan of the way tech companies have adopted agile working practices. “When developing our [SocGen’s] approach to being agile, we looked at the way technology companies – such as Amazon, Spotify, Google and Facebook – operate. About 75% of our roles in Asia are now agile,” Gillet told us last year.

At SocGen, Gillet had also become increasingly open to hiring technologists from outside of the banking sector. “My team already employs people who have banking backgrounds and we already know how markets work,” he said in December, in reference to his former firm. “So now we’re focused on hiring people who have a passion for technology, an innovative mindset, and can work in a collaborative way in a fast-paced environment.”

Before his move to BNP, Gillet had been a SocGen lifer. He joined the bank in Paris in 1997 as a trading-floor support contractor after graduating from French engineering school EIGSI. Two years later, Gillet had a permanent job managing a team of 20 people as global head of equity cash support.

This was to be his final Paris-based role at SocGen. Gillet lived in New York between 2000 and 2005 as global head of equity cash technology and then (from 2003) as head of business analysis equity and derivatives. He relocated to Hong Kong in 2005 to become head of equity and derivatives technology for APAC and worked in three other Asian jobs, including APAC head of front office technology, before becoming CIO for the region in 2014.

Gillet will be able to draw on recent experience in his new CIB-focused role at BNP. During his tenure as SocGen CIO he was primarily overseeing capital markets products, the bank’s sweet spot in Asia.

BNP Paribas is currently hiring into its Hong Kong tech team. Among other roles, the bank wants a trading application developer (with a strong background in C++/Java development) and a market access IT developer (to build interfaces with exchange systems throughout Asia Pacific), according to its careers site.

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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