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Man with PhD and super-hot skills lands job at HSBC in Singapore

It’s safe to say that Shuguo Han is a man with skills that plenty of banks (not to mention tech firms) in Singapore would love to get their hands on. HSBC has, however, just beaten-off any competition and given Han a data science role in its Singaporean innovation lab.

Han joined HSBC earlier this month after spending just over two years at BNY Mellon’s innovation centre in the Republic, where he was focused on data-related projects, primarily for investment services and investment management, according to his LinkedIn profile.

People like Han, who have both data-science and banking-sector experience, are in high demand but short supply in Singapore, say technology recruiters. Prior to BNY, Han was a group analytics manager at Standard Chartered between 2015 and 2017, a job partly focused on “building up a new big data platform” for its group and country retail analytics teams.

Han also has something that banks often state as highly desirable in data-science job descriptions, but don’t make mandatory because there aren’t enough suitable candidates: a PhD. Han was awarded his doctorate from Nanyang Technological University in 2010, having completed a thesis about data mining and machine learning.

The fact that Han’s new job is based in HSBC’s innovation lab, which in 2015 was one of the first of its kind to open in the city state, suggests his work is geared towards leading-edge research and development. Han’s academic work has been cited in machine learning and data mining journals, and he won international awards from publications The Asset and Timetric for developing a real-time offer engine at BNY Mellon, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Data-focused jobs – including data analysts and engineers as well as data scientists like Han – are in demand beyond innovation labs as banks increasingly use Singapore as a regional data hub. Citi is building a new data centre in Singapore, while senior technologists from DBS and JP Morgan told us earlier this year that data professionals are among their hiring priorities. Banks face strong competition for data talent from the likes of Facebook, AWS, Google and Grab. Facebook is also building a new data centre in Singapore.

“Data engineers and scientists are highly sought after as banks in Asia harness massive amounts of consumer and internal business data, helping to predict the behaviour of their consumers, partners and investors, and helping to develop new products,” Paolo Hiceta, manager of technology at recruiters Hudson in Singapore, told us previously. “We see demand for people with Java, Spark, Hadoop, and Python automation and data-unification skills rising in the next two years.”

Han spent the first five years of his career as a research scientist in Singapore’s Institute for Infocomm Research, where he worked with companies including PingAn Insurance, AirAsia and Singtel. He then briefly became the first-ever data scientist at Mediacorp, before joining Stan Chart.

Image credit: bunhill, Getty

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