Westpac appoints ex-CBA exec as new CIO

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Westpac appoints ex-CBA exec as new CIO
Dave Curran

Curran to take control of core banking overhaul.

Westpac has appointed the architect behind the Commonwealth Bank's core banking overhaul as its new chief information officer.

Westpac hired Dave Curran to its technology division as a consultant on a three-month contract in February this year, reporting into chief operating officer of technology Les Vance. 

Curran was hired at the time to progress two undisclosed key technology projects, understood to involve Westpac's own core banking modernisation. 

Curran had resigned from CommBank, where he worked under former CIO Michael Harte as program director for the bank's $1 billion-plus core banking overhaul, after eight years of service in mid-2013, once the project was completed.

Westpac today announced Curran would take over the role left vacant last year by Clive Whincup, who departed to join Woolworths as its new CIO, and more recently by interim Westpac CIO Paul Spiteri, who resigned last week.

Westpac also decided to elevate the role of CIO into the executive team, meaning Curran will report directly into Westpac chief operating officer John Arthur, rather than COO of technology Les Vance.

Curran will begin his role on the 8th September.

His focus will be on the "next phase of [Westpac's] technology strategy", likely to be an overhaul of its core banking systems. Curran will be joined by current St George CIO Dhiran Kulkarni, who will take up the role of CIO for Westpac's core banking overhaul when its front-end online banking refresh is complete later this year.

Westpac opted to focus on modernising its Fiserv-based front-end for customers before beginning the task of revamping its back-end, and is nearing the completion of its consumer customer migrations onto the new platform. Business users will begin to be moved across at the end of the year.

Westpac currently runs two separate core banking systems for the Westpac and St George retail banks, and has previously detailed plans to spend around $250 million upgrading St George to the new version of the CSC-owned Hogan platform, Celeriti, and expects to eventually also move Westpac customers across to the new platform. 

The core banking upgrade comes under phase two of Westpac's 'strategic investment priorities' (SIP) project. 

The bank completed phase one - focused on customer channels and infrastructure - last year, and is now turning its attention to phase two, in which it will modernise key processing systems. 

Curran's hire is the latest of a series of shake-ups within Westpac's IT leadership. An April reshuffle of technology executives saw CIO titles bestowed on several divisional IT heads and a number of new IT lead roles created. 

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