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January 28, 2019updated 08 Feb 2019 10:22am

DBS’ CIO joins Australian fintech start-up

By Jamie Crawley

Neal Cross, chief investment officer (CIO) for DBS, has left the post he held for nearly five years with the Singaporean bank to become chairman of PictureWealth, the fintech start-up he founded in 2017.

Cross announced is departure from DBS on LinkedIn, in a post entitled, “And now for something completely different”.

“During my time I have worked with some of the brightest minds in finance and will miss them dearly,” Cross writes, “but I won’t miss anyone as much as my team or as we refer to ourselves #teamawesome, the most passionate and creative people I have ever worked with.”

Cross founded PictureWealth alongside David Pettit in 2017, a platform where users can visualise their entire financial picture in a single snapshot, known as a Welfie (Wealth+Selfie), with additional features available which provide insights and set targets.

PictureWealth is, according to Cross, the fastest growing wealth fintech in Australia, going from $0 to $100m funds under management in six months.

Pioneering fintech

British-born Neal Cross has established himself as a trailblazer in financial innovation, with DBS undergoing a digital revolution in recent years.

DBS was one of the earlier adopters of AI chatbots within its app and in 2017 launched a platform for the open banking world, which integrates more than 150 APIs, to make every-day actions such as cashless payments and funds transfers more convenient.

Cross was recognised in 2016 with the Most Disruptive CIO Award for the Asia-Pacific region.

In his post on Linkedin, Cross wrote, “Never being happy with the status quo and having a generally high level of frustration with how the world works is key to making change. I am not a big believer in the mantra of ‘Don’t change the world, change yourself’. This world was created by people and people can change it again, highly relevant for these disruptive times.”

Alongside his role at PictureWealth, Cross plans to pour his efforts into his Orangutan conservation interests, spending much of his free time in his two Indonesian hotels – Hotel Oranguatan and Pulau Weh Paradise – which he built to spread awareness for land- and ocean-based conservation. He will also be writing a book about these projects and working as an adviser on special projects across Asia, many of them outside of banking.


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