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Banking on success

Divina Paredes | April 25, 2013
Peter Fletcher, CIO at Westpac talks more about his company

When Peter Fletcher left New Zealand in 2006 to work overseas, it was always in the back of his mind that he and his family would return to the country at some point.

His overseas stint, with Barclays Bank, encompassed a range of business technology roles that took him and his young family to London and Singapore.

"I was deliberately trying to broaden myself out," says Fletcher, who returned to New Zealand last year. "I was very conscious that New Zealand is quite a small market."

Today, he is chief information officer at Westpac. He had held the same role at rival Bank of New Zealand for just over three years before he left New Zealand.

A year on, he is in the thick of a range of projects, as Westpac expands its services across digital platforms.

"There are only four or five people who do what I do here, to a scale that I do," he says of his current job at Westpac. "I am very fortunate."

What stood out from his overseas experience was the scale and international nature of the activity of Barclays Bank.

"I have learned a lot about around how IT operations from my time there that I am now looking to employ here, on top of my understanding of the New Zealand market and the way things get done."

In the UK, Fletcher started as an interim technology partner, human resources and pensions, before moving up to become chief operating officer, central support technology, and chief operating officer, global infrastructure and service delivery. He then relocated to Singapore as co-chief operating officer, global technology infrastructure and service, and side lead, Changi, for Barclays Technology Centre.

Rich conversations

At Westpac, he says, most of the executives and board members have had experience with big transformation projects with significant IT investments. Fletcher says there is always an advantage in having senior executives who have a "broader understanding of technology and the value it brings".

"The conversation is richer, and the challenge is greater," he says on working with the Westpac executive team. "I have raised a lot of things that have had a lot of good healthy debate, I see it all as pretty positive," says Fletcher, who reports to chief operating officer Jim Stabback, himself a former CIO (see sidebar: In for the long haul)

Fletcher is part of the group's global IT leadership team, which meets once a week, either by phone or video conference. He also travels to Australia regularly with his colleagues there.

"The thing that I that I enjoy most about that relationship is that it is a good mature healthy relationship, where I am encouraged to get on and run the business here in New Zealand.


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