Hong Leong’s gain leaves a digital gap at UOB
Kevin Lam is to lead the Malaysian bank, becoming the second person within three years to step down as UOB’s TMRW digital head.
Hong Leong Bank’s choice of new chief executive leaves an awkward gap in a key role at Singapore’s UOB.
Kevin Lam, the head of UOB’s digital banking unit TMRW Group Digital, is to succeed Domenic Fuda as chief executive of the Malaysian bank from July 1. Fuda, who spent seven years in the job, is retiring.
That is good news for Hong Leong, but a headache for UOB, which is attempting a multi-year digital transformation of which the TMRW division is the spearhead, at the same time as trying to bed in the acquisition of Citi consumer franchises in four southeast Asian markets, again with digital at its core.
It is a vital job, but UOB has struggled to keep key people in it. The previous incumbent, Dennis Khoo – who was instrumental in the TMRW rollout and in effect built it as a startup within UOB – left in 2020 to lead a consortium, backed by China’s ByteDance, as chief executive-designate for a digital bank in Singapore.
Unfortunately, the ByteDance bid was not successful, and Khoo now runs a digital transformation consultancy called allDigitalfuture.