Accenture has poached a key AI expert from Standard Chartered

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Accenture has poached a key AI expert from Standard Chartered

The competition for talent between Standard Chartered and Singapore’s leading consultancy firms just took an unexpected new twist. So far, it’s been all about Stan Chart poaching from the consultancies – now Accenture has got its own back.

Girish Sundaram, formerly a director for AI and analytics within Stan Chart’s technology team, joined Accenture Digital Consulting earlier this month as a senior principal director for advanced analytics. He is now spearheading Accenture’s efforts to “solve complex business problems using niche technologies in artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics”, according to his online profile.

Sundaram’s departure will be keenly felt at Stan Chart because the bank has been staffing up with Singapore-based consultants to help drive its own strategy in emerging technology. While banks in Singapore do still turn to the likes of Accenture for technology advice, the overriding trend over the past year has involved poaching consultants for in-house jobs.

In March, Stan Chart hired IBM consultant Sushil Anand as head of computational and digital advisory for wealth management, and last month it took on Christopher Williams (ex-Deloitte and UBS) as global head of strategy, governance and change for technology services. Earlier this year Stan Chart also recruited Pierre Paoli from Boston Consulting as head of strategic initiatives.

Suffice to say, if Sundaram ever wanted to return to banking in the future, he would be highly sought after because he would boast experience in technology, banking and consultancy firms. And unlike some tech consultants, he has a programming background to complement his management experience.

Sundaram was a senior engineer at Microsoft in India between 2003 and 2005 and then worked for IBM for more than 11 years, latterly as a New York-based senior solution architect, focused on data analytics.

He relocated to Singapore in 2016 and became a chief architect for the IT consultancy Avanade for 18 months before he joined Stan Chart.

Sundaram also has an impressive academic resume. He’s currently completing a PhD in Computer and Information Sciences and he already has an MSc in Data Analytics and a BSc in Computer Science.

Image credit: MF3d, Getty

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