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Ex-HSBC government CTO reveals issue with data jobs in banks

Bankers moving into governmental positions is nothing new. In the US, for example, Gary Gensler, former co-head of finance at Goldman Sachs, currently serves as the chair of the SEC. In the UK, another former bank employee has taken a top spot, but this time he was a technologist. 

David Knott says he has joined the British state as "CTO for the UK Government, working within the Cabinet Office." He also acts as chair of the UK government's CTO Council, defined by him as a "group of CTOs from across government who collaborate on a shared agenda." Other CTOs are managing individual areas such as cybersecurity and cloud software.

In a blog post explaining why he made the move, Knott says he relished the opportunity to implement data in whole new ways. Knott said (with respect to his former colleagues) that data jobs in finance are "mostly just moving data around." In his new role, however, says he "actually connects directly to the physical world."

Knott's specialty is architecture. He was chief architect at HSBC, a head of architecture at Lloyds banking group, and a digital transformation officer at Google. He was most recently a partner at the Boston Consulting Group. 

Although banks are making cuts, data jobs are abundant and growing. JPMorgan wants to hire more, and recruiters are bullish on the market. Knott's new team is a modest one. He says the CDDO (central digital and data office) is a "small team" but that "small teams can make a big difference."

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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