DBS poaches Tom McCabe from Standard Chartered

DBS continues to boost its ranking among the competition by appointing Tom McCabe as global transaction services head.
Tom McCabe, DBS
Tom McCabe, DBS
Tom McCabe has taken over as global transaction services head at DBS after leaving Standard Chartered in the middle of last year. Meanwhile, McKinsey & Company's George Nast takes McCabe's place at Standard Chartered as global head of product management for transaction banking.

McCabe officially joined DBS in January, replacing Pranam Wahi, and is responsible for managing and growing the Singapore bank's cash management, trade finance and securities services activities as the institution continues to proactively expand in the region.

"DBS is in a superb position to build a dominant transaction banking business across Asia," said McCabe in a statement. "Our business is already growing at a very strong pace in several markets and as we continue to roll out new capabilities, we expect this trend to continue."

Based in Singapore, he oversees DBS's transaction banking team across 16 countries. McCabe reports to Jeanette Wong, head of institutional banking at DBS.

Wahi, who previously led the bank's global transaction services group, took over as head of the Middle East for DBS yesterday.

George Nast

Nast, a former partner in McKinsey & Company's Asia-Pacific wholesale banking practice, became Standard Chartered's global head of product management for transaction banking in January. In the position he will drive development of the bank's transactions products, including mobile authorisation and its online portal Straight2Bank.

"Transaction banking at Standard Chartered has gone from strength to strength in recent years and I look forward to helping the team consolidate its position as a global leader in the world's most dynamic markets," said Nast in a statement.

He is responsible for 320 transaction banking product staff in 24 markets.

"We are refocusing our entire product world to make sure it is entirely driven by the needs of our clients and tailored to their requirements," added Karen Fawcett, group head of transaction banking at Standard Chartered, in a statement. "George brings a wealth of experience that enhances our capacity to innovate for our client's benefit."


DBS is actively growing in Asia. The bank's chief executive Piyush Gupta, who joined last November, outlined plans to continue growing the bank and increasing its commitment to transaction banking in a speech last month, sparking rumours in the Singapore press that DBS has designs to buy Indonesia's Bank Danamon. The bank denied the rumours, calling them "speculation".

"To say DBS is trying to build a truly regional transaction banking presence is absolutely spot on," said Wahi in an interview last year. While the bank continues to grow physically, McCabe's appointment should allow it to increase product-based competition, making it a more serious challenge to other regional cash and trade banks, including Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

Prior to his role as global product head, McCabe held various positions with Standard Chartered, including chief executive in South Korea during the bank's acquisition of Korea First Bank. He has also worked with Citibank, Proctor & Gamble and SEI Investments.

In addition to his career with McKinsey in Asia and the Americas, Nast spent time as a financial markets analyst and trader at Canada's central bank.

DBS's annual revenues rose 9% year-on-year to S$6.6 billion ($4.7 billion) in 2009. Net profit held steady at S$2.06 billion for the year.

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