Wian will be in charge of defining and driving the group’s technology roadmap to ensure it aligns with business strategy.
Fedgroup, a South African financial services provider, has named Wian James as its new CTO. The FSP provides a variety of offerings ranging from traditional investments and Group Benefits, to its market-leading Impact Farming investment offering. “I work with exceptional teams in my department to make our vision a reality, and I enjoy the daily learnings that this role provides. My background is predominantly rooted in software engineering, so I am enjoying pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to ensure that I grow in all of our technological capabilities,” he says.
Wian believes that his experience in multiple industries, successes and shortcomings he has observed in strategies implemented by businesses in the past, and in-depth knowledge of the technology landscape and how to strategically leverage it, set him apart from his peers. He also has extensive experience integrating with successful strategies and identifying the shortcomings of failed strategies implemented by businesses.
“I’ve gone through the growing pains of modernisation several times, and I’ve seen the results and benefits of perseverance, which has given me a forward-thinking mindset and made me an advocate for cutting-edge technologies. I also actively participate in R&D to gain a better understanding of the technology we intend to incorporate into our ecosystem.”
Wian says the increasing number of IT professionals going abroad to work has to be the biggest issue giving local executives sleepless nights, and gives some reasons for this growing trend. “Unfortunately, South Africa has many external factors, such as crime and the deterioration of our infrastructure, that contribute to our IT professionals looking abroad,” he says. “There is also the perception that South Africa lags behind in terms of technology.
“However, I don’t agree with this notion as I have seen the development of world-class systems in the South African technology landscape,” he argues.
Wian believes that having the expertise of the previous CIO, now chief software architect, within his team is a tremendous benefit, both to him and the company. “He is a source of knowledge that I benefit from on a daily basis as I transition into the role,” he says.
In Wian’s long-term vision for Fedgroup, the customer, shareholder, and brand positioning are all equally important. “I want Fedgroup to be a strong contender in the consideration set when it comes to the products we provide,” he says.
“In addition, I want our clients to understand how important they are to us by providing them with world-class tools to effectively manage their investments and to have complete visibility over their portfolios no matter where they are in the world. Most importantly, I want us to be known for doing business in an easy and ethical manner,” he concludes.