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An Interview with Simon Moorfield, Chief Information Officer Asia Pacific, GE Capital

Kim San, Journalist, FST Media, 20 Jan 2010
San: How far in advance does GE Capital map out its regional IT strategy; and is the IT team capable of swiftly responding to change in the strategy?


Moorfield: GE Capital has a very structured planning cycle.  For the IT function, we would do a 1-year and 3-year strategy each year, and then we would revise the 3-year plan every year in line with how the business strategy evolves.  This is a terrific way for us to be able to look at the immediate horizon and also keep the longer-term perspective in mind.  As a result, we are structured in our IT investments and yet nimble enough to support the business strategy.


I am also very fortunate in that we have a great team of people who can execute the plans to perfection, and anticipate or work closely with the businesses to manage any change.


San: As GE Capital’s Asia Pacific CIO, how do you tailor your IT strategy to accommodate both mature and less mature markets in the region?


Moorfield: We have a diversified business across Asia Pacific and as such, the key for us is to focus on similarities where we can collectively bring value to the region, while simultaneously leaving sufficient flexibility for local markets to do what works best for them.  For example, all our country platforms are working in tandem to extract as much efficiency and value as possible, from what are fast becoming “commoditised services” such as Networks, Data Centres, Servers, End user services, etc.


We are also focused on positioning our IT infrastructure to support varying growth stages across the region in a cost-effective manner, so system scalability and flexibility are critical considerations for us.


San: GE Capital provides financial services to varying industries (i.e. healthcare, media, real estate, aviation and consumer). Where do the key differences in expectations of customer service lie?


Moorfield: Regardless of industries and type of financing, our desire is to provide customers with industry-leading services that are tailored and responsive to their needs.  Every customer is important to us and each and every one of them, whether they are a credit card holder or a small business owner or a corporation, expects us to understand their requirements and deliver accordingly. 


For example, credit card transactions are relatively more high-volume and consumers increasingly require more real-time response as well as additional transaction channels from their card issuers.  Companies that have requirements for “volume” transactions such as factoring or small-ticket financing look to us to provide flexibility in system processing.   These are areas where IT plays an important enabling role to adapt our systems to the customer needs. 


San: From a global perspective, GE Capital has advocated renewable energy and sustainability within its technology operations. Can you share with us some of the planned green IT initiatives within Asia Pacific?


Moorfield: GE Capital is a world leader in this area for many years with Ecomagination, its corporate-wide commitment to address the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.  As more markets in Asia-Pacific begin to introduce regulations requiring companies to report on their carbon footprint, our Asia Pacific IT team continues to contribute to a more eco-friendly environment via the infrastructure commoditisation strategy mentioned above, which is also aimed at driving down power consumption by IT infrastructure. 


San: What are some of the noteworthy technology trends emerging in consumer finance right now?


Moorfield: Choice, real-time response and “anytime, anywhere” transactions.  Gone are the days when consumers will tolerate a 3-day approval time for their credit card applications. They now want real-time approval so they can spend on their credit card immediately, redeem loyalty points at the store, etc. Customers also want the ability to tailor a loan solution to their needs.


To satisfy these needs, a tight integration between information and delivery channels is paramount.  In Asia Pacific, we are working on an advanced Risk Analytics and Data Warehouse Strategy which provides key information to empower our people to better understand customers.  This information can then be seamlessly channeled into our Web Services Architecture to enable our businesses to support Internet, mobile, SMS, phone/IVR, and offer consumers even more choices and unprecedented levels of responsiveness.


San: What IT priorities are set to dominate your agenda in 2010?


Moorfield: As an important lender in the Asia Pacific region to both consumers and companies, we are very much open for business and are actively seeking solid growth opportunities as well.  Our IT strategy is aligned with our business strategy, which focuses on growth by providing customers with a broad range of credit and financing services. 


With this in mind, my key priority is to have in place an IT architecture that is nimble, scalable and cost-effective.  The ability to make rapid changes quickly as the business requirements change will be critical to our success in 2010 and beyond.  In preparation for this, we have started working on significant IT “transformation” programs in key markets such as Australia & Japan, to enable us to deliver services that are faster and cheaper.  


San: How do you envisage GE Capital’s customer channels emerging in its key Asia Pacific markets, for example (China, India, ANZ and Korea) within the next 1 to 3 years?


Moorfield: At present, our core Asia Pacific markets are Japan, ANZ and Korea, while emerging markets like China and India offer tremendous growth opportunities.  We continue to remain open for business to serve customers in these markets even amidst the economic crisis, and we expect to grow as the regional economies continue to recover.  As we offer both consumer and commercial financing solutions, we have a variety of channels that are designed to support the different business models.  As I mentioned earlier, acquisition applications that support multiple devices, mobile, netbooks, etc will position us to play “offense” in the marketplace as customers’ usage of such technologies become more pronounced.


Customers are also becoming increasingly savvy in terms of requiring their financiers to understand them and their needs.  To better serve them, we continue to invest in CRM technologies for our sales teams to help strengthen their relationships with customers.


San: What fundamental skills contribute to a successful IT leader?


Moorfield: Organisations are counting on leaders to be all-rounders, and to see and think two or three steps ahead.  At GE Capital, we spend a lot of time identifying leadership attributes and training managers to develop them. For me, the two most important traits are what we call External Focus and Clear Thinking.  External Focus means you are keenly aware of what’s going on in the markets and how you can add value to your customers.  Clear Thinking then gives you the ability to develop and articulate strategies and objectives that can be understood by everyone.


In the IT context, a successful leader is one who is adept at leveraging technology to address business needs or create a competitive advantage.  He or she must also be able to communicate the complex world of technology to a broad audience to be effective as a leader.


San: Every leader, particularly at your level, has a legacy they wish to be remembered for. What is yours?


Moorfield: As technology changes all the time, the only constant differentiator in the IT function are your people.  I really enjoy talking to and developing the people in my team.  My goal is to ensure that the IT team has the enduring resilience, imagination and skills to remain a key partner to the business.  The past 18 months, while tough for the financial services industry, has been a great learning experience and will make us stronger.  Thanks to our employees, our business in Asia Pacific managed through the crisis better than we expected.  In the IT function, we asked for ‘more with less’ and the team was able to deliver and make a difference even in the face of adversity.  This determination and passion is definitely something I want to build on and leave behind.

An Interview with Simon Moorfield

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Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: Australia monthly wrap
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

IT background unnecessary for NAB’s new tech chief
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Banking biometrics no guarantee of privacy
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: Asia monthly wrap
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Banks to be muscled out of personal financial management market: Analyst
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: Australia monthly wrap
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: New Zealand monthly wrap
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Standard Chartered gets a MoVe on combating banking skills shortage
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Analyst: Financial services CIOs need not fear rising CMO
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

EXCLUSIVE: ANZ leapfrogs the competition with mobile banking first
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

AMP launches iPad app to boost engagement
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Citi redefines the global ATM experience
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: Australia monthly wrap
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: Asia monthly wrap
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: New Zealand monthly wrap
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Financial services tech predictions 2013: Asia
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Financial services tech predictions 2013: Australia & New Zealand
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Banks under threat from Google, Apple
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

OCBC taps youth psyche with game ‘world first’
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Harte, Lark redefining channel strategy for banking
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: Australia monthly wrap
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Banking CIOs: adapt or vanish
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Citi accelerates regional securities presence
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: Asia monthly wrap
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Financial services movers and shakers: NZ monthly wrap
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

ANZ tech consolidation no threat to NZ IT jobs
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Quality trumps speed in bank customer service
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Technology the lifeline for insurance in Asia Pacific: Ovum
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Standard Chartered launches ‘world-first’ dual-purpose credit card
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

NFC necessary but challenging for Hong Kong banks: Analyst
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Budgets hinder bank tech innovation in 2013: Ovum
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Pressure mounting on technology for Asia Pacific clearing: Citi
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Banks targeting the unbanked face telco threat
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Mandatory online privacy breach reporting to increase banks’ cost, risk
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Customer education the key battleground for financial security in Singapore
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Banking CIOs responsible for video marketing
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

EXCLUSIVE: Technology trumps people in safe banking – Rogue Trader
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

OCBC partners with PlayMoolah to address child financial literacy
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Payments chiefs prepare for RBA challenge
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

DBS branches to showcase student technology innovation
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Mobile applications and data analytics shape the future for banking
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Legislation driving technology innovation in Super
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Movers and shakers at ANZ
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Online and mobile shaping the future for Super funds
Byline: Jessica Fell, FST Media

Making finance fun: Gamification, the new frontier of customer engagement
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Artificial Intelligence leading the way for financial services technology innovation
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Banking chiefs identify game-changers in financial services
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

IT cadet program providing dividends for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Technology and reputation key to navigating through market volatility: NAB
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

The future of the banking branch: nimble, customer-focused and stylish
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Westpac launches new tablet app
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Analysts positive on CBA’s bold hardware play
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

CBA becomes a technology vendor
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Online insurance first to feel the bite of commoditisation
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Innovation without focus on customer experience a ‘pointless’ exercise
Byline: Matthew Sainsbury, FST Media

Facilitating the Social Media Conversation
Byline: By Alyson Mitchell, Journalist, FS ...

Zurich appoints new Executive General Manager of SME
Byline: By Matthew Sainsbury, Senior Journ ...

Technology places CBA into top 100 global brands
Byline: By Matthew Sainsbury, Senior Journ ...

Business Intelligence key to beating competition from Google, Paypal
Byline: By Matthew Sainsbury, Senior Journ ...

Myanmar: Asia Pacific’s new financial market?
Byline: By Matthew Sainsbury, Senior Journ ...

Technology core to Narev’s Bank of the Future
Byline: By Matthew Sainsbury and Alyson Mi ...

Demystifying the Big Data hype
Byline: By Matthew Sainsbury, Senior Journ ...

Visa drops card processor after breach
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

CBA makes it easier for businesses over Easter
Source: East & Partners

Mobility, BI top priorities for ANZ CIOs: Gartner
Source: Hamish Barwick, CIO Australia

Change makes Teachers largest mutual bank
Source: Eric Johnston, The Sydney Morning Herald

MLC MasterKey Business Super upgrades clearing house
Source: Rachel Davis, Financial Standard

DBS to test Indonesian openness with $7.2 bln takeover
Source: Saeed Azhar and Neil Chatterjee, Reuters

CIMB agrees to buy certain RBS businesses in Asia-Pacific
Source: Anette Jonsson, FinanceAsia

HKEx to invest HK$3b on platform upgrade
Source: Oswald Chen, China Daily

HSBC Singapore axes over 100 jobs
Source: The Jakarta Post

Asia-Pacific corporates boost utilization of HSBCnet mobile service
Source: Mridula Sudharsan, The Asset

Maybank Singapore launches Manchester United Platinum Visa cards
Source: Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah, Bernama

OCBC launches “Pay Any Card” service
Source: Thomas Zink, Banking & Payments Asia

Bank Negara Indonesia taps voice biometrics for password resets
Source: Finextra

Metrobank Card implements FICO solution to combat fraud
Source: Meghna Mukerjee, Banking & Payments Asia

AMP spends $87m more on IT
Source: Liz Tay, itnews

Security breach risk for Kiwi cardholders
Source: Lois Cairns, stuff.co.nz

Paymark, phone firms introduce mobile pay
Source: Tom Pullar-Strecker, stuff.co.nz

The little bank that could
Source: Rob Stock, Dominion Post

ATM scam at $1m and rising
Source: Nicholas Jones, NZ Herald

Money transactions to become quicker
Source: Tom Pullar-Strecker, stuff.co.nz

Visa drops ‘Global Payments’ credit card processor
Source: Time

Five things you need to know about Near-Field Communications
Source: Lauren Brousell, CIO NZ

7 habits of innovative IT leaders
Source: Rob Preston, InformationWeek

Asia-Pacific corporates boost utilisation of of HSBCnet mobile service
Source: Mridula Sudharsan, The Asset

NAB creating best practices for vetting Cloud providers
Source: John Adams, Information Management

ANZ sets its sights on Burma
Source: Asian Banking & Finance

Sutton ditches CBA in favour of BoQ
Source: Russell Quinn, PerthNow

Ignore Big Data at your peril: Deloitte
Source: Diana Nguyen, Computerworld Australia

Cybercrime a growing risk for FS firms – PwC survey
Source: Finextra

Banking via mobile phone to become the norm
Source: George Liondis, Australian Financial Review

Pay your credit card bills with OCBCs pay any card service
Source: Singapore Business Review

J.P. Morgan Asia chief exits
Source: Alison Tudor, The Wall Street Journal

JPM expands reach of mobile banking platform
Source: The Asset

Citi Private Bank names Sameer Kaul as India boss
Source: Rupert Walker, Finance Asia

Citibank Singapore launches instant online installment loans
Source: Melissa Aw, Yahoo!Finance Singapore

BNP Paribas launches Cortex FX electronic trading platform
Source: Oliver Jones, The Asset

The best iPad banking apps
Source: Olivia LaBarre & Bryan Yurcan, Bank Systems & Technology

HSBC staying in Kingdom
Source: Seetalavajit Sabayjai, The Nation

ATM scam escalates
Source: Sarah Harvey, stuff.co.nz

ASB brings back three ex-staffers as executives; one as CFO, and two to newly created positions
Source: Gareth Vaughan, interest.co.nz

Rabobank appoints new chairman, director
Source: Roeland Van Den Bergh, stuff.co.nz

Westpac tech chief comes out swinging
Source: Paul Smith, The Australian Financial Review

Checking a bank balance on your phone, no log-in needed
Source: Ann Carrns, The New York Times

NZ ready for mobile and NFC payments, says MasterCard
Source: CIO New Zealand

Mobile banking pays small merchants
Source: Source: Jessica Gardner, The Australian Financial Review

Banks’ payments ‘pay day’ under threat: report
Source: Australian Banking & Finance

The CIO transformation challenge
Source: Kevin Noonan, Technology Spectator

Harnessing enterprise social networks
Source: Rebecca Merrett, CIO Australia

Exclusive video interview with Standard Chartereds Global Head of Channels Technology
Source: FST Media

NAB bolsters payments systems
Source: Liz Tay, itnews

Customer engagement ranks as top challenge for insurers
Byline: By FST Media

Tech chiefs to convene, share insights on trends and challenges
Byline: By FST Media

Social media key to super reinvention
Byline: By Michael Pollack, FST Media

Further Westpac job cuts likely
Byline: By Michael Pollack, FST Media

New thinking required for BYO device security
Byline: By Michael Pollack, FST Media

Leading IT executives share insights on emerging trends: Hong Kong’s Technology and Innovation – The Future of Financial Services
Byline: Michael Pollack, FST Media

Pioneer takes the plunge into social media
Byline: By Michael Pollack, FST Media

New CIO at Westpac announced: restructure a sign of the times?
Byline: By Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Socialising banking: unravelling the complexities of engagement
Byline: By Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

CBA throws down the payments gauntlet
Byline: By Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Innovating from within: the power of employee engagement over technology
Byline: By Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Disconnect between IT and management revealed
Byline: By Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Industry standards must keep pace with Cloud adoption
Byline: Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Internal cultural shift critical to cloud success: ANZ Wealth and Westpac
Byline: Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Tighter risk control needed for banks, says rogue trader
Byline: Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Achieving multi-channel delivery systems ranked number one in NZ
Byline: Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

CIO shake-up at BT Financial and IAG
Byline: Melanie Timbrell, FST Media

Our peers had outperformed us: NAB
Byline: Melanie Timbrell, FST Media




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