SWIFT is placing a strategic focus on the East and on growth markets around the world, in line with the economic shifts that will continue for the next 20 years, and the appointment of its Chief Executive for EMEA, Alain Raes, to assume the Chief Executive role in Asia Pacific reflects this commitment.
Raes will focus on implementing the strategy SWIFT has in place for the Asia-Pacific region. “I support our AP 2015 strategy – because growth in Asia in line with its economic growth ensures that we are delivering to the development of the global financial community as well as delivering economies of scale for our customers around the world,” says Raes. “I look forward to sharing my experience in EMEA, which includes mature and emerging markets, as I lead the fast-growing, leapfrogging markets of Asia.”
SWIFT, the provider of secure financial messaging to more than 10,000 institutions around the world, continues to provide its traditional cross-border services. At the same time, the organization is increasing its focus on supporting domestic markets with world-class financial infrastructure.
Gottfried Leibbrandt, Chief Executive Officer, SWIFT, comments: “Ian Johnston, who stepped down as Chief Executive Officer Asia Pacific at end December 2012, has built a strong management organization and a robust strategy approved by the SWIFT Board to grow our footprint and business in the Asia Pacific region. We recognise that the world is increasingly interconnected, and our customers are responding in kind. I believe that Alain assuming responsibility for Asia will allow SWIFT to successfully continue our ambitious expansion in Asia.”
Raes adds: “I and my management teams in EMEA and Asia Pacific remain fully committed to our customers and our strategy to support the industry across all markets. I especially look forward to continuing our efforts to export Asian innovation to the rest of the global financial community, and to ensuring that the Asian voice is heard within the SWIFT community, in the key areas of regulation, innovation and market practice.”
Raes is relocating from SWIFT’s global headquarters in Belgium to its Singapore office. He was appointed Chief Executive of EMEA in September 2007 and was previously Director of the Continental Europe region, covering securities and banking sales activities. Alain joined SWIFT in 1990. Prior to SWIFT he worked at Citibank, Belgium, and Fortis Bank in Singapore.
“After my first experience in Singapore 20 years ago and a rich career in EMEA, I wanted to return to Asia as it increasingly becomes a global growth engine, and believe that we will find new ways to support the financial industry because of the experience we have in mature and growth markets in both parts of the world, as well as in the Americas,” Raes concludes.