Financial services professionals predict surge in new chief technology officers

Almost three-quarters of senior decision makers in the financial services industry (73%) expect a rise in demand for chief technology officers over the next five years, according to the latest research.

The study by administrative services company Intertrust found that 40% of respondents believed that by 2023 most firms in their sector (asset management, corporate, capital markets and private wealth) will have hired CTOs with a mandate to drive strategic change.

This will harness the benefits of technologies such as AI, blockchain and robotics.

Of the 500 executives surveyed, only 27% said that their firm was currently recruiting for a CTO-level role and upskilling existing staff to capitalise on emerging technology.

Some 29% believed that their firm didn’t currently recognise the need to recruit technology leaders or invest in new training, while 16% claimed that their firm found it hard to recruit tech talent.

The biggest skills shortages were in AI, regtech and compliance, followed by data analytics and cyber security.

Stephanie Miller, chief executive officer at Intertrust said: “There is little doubt that we will see more CTOs emerge within the financial services sector with a clear mandate to drive transformational change.

“With many firms struggling to keep up with the latest developments in emerging technologies – let alone seek a competitive advantage – the question will increasingly become when, rather than whether, to make new senior hires to devise the right strategy and implementation programme.

“Firms delaying their investment in appointing new CTOs with influence at the top table – or not doing so at all – risk losing out on the best candidates and falling behind their peers.”

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