If you think you need to join a crypto startup to get a blockchain-focused job in the Singapore finance sector, think again. Standard Chartered is quietly building its digital-assets workforce in the Republic as it launches new initiatives powered by blockchain.
Among the newest recruits is Scott Littlewood, who joined earlier this month as executive director for the bank’s digital assets centre of excellence, according to his LinkedIn profile. This newly established unit takes a “bank-wide view” to develop Stan Chart’s strategies around digital currencies, tokenisation and crypto assets, according to the online job description for Littlewood’s position.
Littlewood was previously the Asia head of operations and business development at TZ APAC, a blockchain consultancy, and he also founded two digital-assets businesses. We understand that Littlewood now reports into Vinoy Kumar, SCB’s Singapore-based global head of digital assets, who started his role in November last year.
While several other global banks, including Goldman Sachs and BNY Mellon, are building digital-assets teams, Stan Chart is unique in using Singapore as the main hub for its operations.
Stan Chart in Singapore has made several appointments in its digital assets business this year. In June, Steven Hu joined at ED level, having previously led the distributed ledger technology programme within global liquidity and cash management at HSBC.
In April, Andre Ng joined Stan Chart from UBS as an associate director, and Vipul Kumar was transferred internally from an FX role to become digital assets global product manager. Meanwhile, Isabelle Sumarli was hired from NTUC Income in July as a digital-assets manager.
SCB is also hiring juniors. Recent graduate Jorden Seet came on board in June as a digital-assets manager, having spent just nine months in an analyst programme at Deutsche Bank.
The hires coincide with Stan Chart’s roll-out of new blockchain products. In July, for example, SC Ventures, the firm’s innovation and ventures unit, partnered with Northern Trust to set up Zodia, a cryptocurrency custodian for institutional investors. In June, SC Ventures announced a partnership with Hong Kong-listed BC Technology Group to launch a digital asset brokerage and exchange.
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