From the start, Janice Ku was into tech. “I studied engineering,” she said. “I love computers and math.”
But she came to prefer client-facing work to hardware development, so she gravitated to consulting at Accenture. This gave her to broad exposure to tech in various industries. Ku could become a partner, but she wanted to learn an industry in depth – finance.
She moved to HSBC nine years ago in its securities services business, initially driving project management and system implementations. Although she’s still at the bank, Ku grew restless when her initial tasks became too rote. “I got bored,” she said, so she threw herself into product management, taking charge of product and service offerings, operating models and supporting outward-facing relationships in transaction banking.
“It was fun,” she said. “I got to build new stuff.”
The bank also began investing more in tech and digital solutions, which played across all of Ku’s strengths. Last year she took responsibility for HSBC Securities Services’ global digital solutions, as senior product manager for digital and data. The role spans all customer channels, and all digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and blockchain.
She now oversees nine people. The center of her work is to build a suite of APIs to allow HSBC to serve its clients in a more flexible way. “We’re engaging with fintechs [including Symphony, the messaging and collaboration platform] to improve our operations, and to enhance the client experience,” she said. “There’s a lot to do with clients beyond just enhancing our core service.”