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Banking Tech Awards
4th December 2024
Royal Lancaster Hotel

Stephen Norman
Writer & Tech Critic at Independent


2013 to date:

Technology fiction author. First novel was Trading Down, a thriller about digital terrorism in a bank (Endeavour Press, 2017). Crypto enthusiast but known as a blockchain sceptic. Judge, Banking Technology awards. Conference speaker (eg ITIN, Quant Conference Digital). Various advisory positions.

2005 – 2012

Chief Information Officer, RBS Global Banking and Markets. After 4 years in New York, I moved back to the UK in 2005 and joined RBS Global Markets as CIO. The next 7 years were eventful. A period of business growth and investment was followed by the simultaneous acquisition of ABN Amro and the failure of RBS and the banking crisis. Over 7 years, we created a successful Indian development arm with 2,000 staff and significant business knowledge and project capability. After 2008, the next 4 years were spent integrating or replacing ABN Amro systems and people, cutting costs and implementing financial regulations eg Dodd-Frank.

2003 – 2005

Chief Technology Officer, Merrill Lynch (New York). I was responsible for Merrill Lynch’s infrastructure, data centres, networks, desktops, phones etc etc. I created a new organizational model and reduced infrastructure costs from $1.2b to $800m over 24 months using SIX SIGMA. Significant outsource to IBM and HP, both troubled projects that taught me a lot. Built a software development shop in India.

2001 – 2003

Chief Information Officer, Merrill Lynch Global Markets (New York). Coping with the aftermath of 911 and the collapse of the dot-coms. System rationalization and cost cutting exercises. Creation of single data repositories for client and market data.

1996 – 2001

Various exec positions in Merrill’s trading arm (Europe). Responsible for a new back office architecture. Rolled out a global equity trading platform around the world. Preparation for the Euro and Y2K.

1991 – 1996

Crisis project manager, Paribas Capital Markets. I joined Paribas Capital Markets as a summer contract and stayed 5 years, picking up troubled projects and delivering them (Tokyo, HK, Milan, Paris, London, New York).

1982 – 1991

Software entrepreneur. I founded Direct Technology Ltd, a UK software company (later acquired by US company Compuware).


PhD (1981) from Stanford University(“Subsystem states in Quantum Theory…”) and an MA from Oxford (Physics and Philosophy).

At this event