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Wealth management and professional services group Tilney Smith & Williamson has appointed former Centrica global consumer CIO Mayank Prakash as chief technology officer (CTO).
Prakash, who joined Centrica in November 2018 after four years as the IT chief at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is now taking up another new role at a newly merged company.
Tilney Smith & Williamson was created on 1 September 2020, after Tilney and Smith & Williamson merged, and the company is the country’s third largest wealth manager, responsible for £47bn of client assets.
Commenting on his new role, Prakash said it was an “exciting time to be joining the business”.
“The merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson is a transformational combination which will create a truly unique business able to support clients with a wide range of services to facilitate the management of their personal wealth and their business interests,” he said.
“While the sectors it operates in have overall been slow to adapt to the opportunities that new technology provides, both Tilney and Smith & Williamson have made major investments in new systems in recent years. I have been really impressed with the determination of the new Ggoup to embrace best-in-class technology and be at the forefront of digital innovation to the benefit of clients.”
During his time at Centrica, Prakash has led innovative projects at the utility firm, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic which saw 14,000 employees working remotely.
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In a recent interview with Computer Weekly while still at Centrica, where he was in charge of the digital transformation of the company’s consumer business, Prakash said the pandemic led to changes in “all of our digital channels and the customer journeys”. This amounted to hundreds of changes that were deployed in the first couple of weeks.
“The core capability that the organisation has, which helps us do this, is a large number of agile scrum teams that deliver right across our customer journeys,” he said. “We have, at last count, 86 agile teams delivering right across North America, Ireland and the UK.”
During Prakash’s time at DWP, he led a major transformation programme, bringing large-scale outsourcing contracts back in-house and moving systems to the cloud.
He has been recognised for his stellar work, and was voted the most influential person in UK IT in Computer Weekly’s 2017 annual poll.
Chris Woodhouse, group CEO at Tilney Smith & Williamson said Prakash will bring “a huge amount of experience to the senior team, and we are delighted to welcome such a high-calibre technology and operations leader to the business”.
“Both Tilney and Smith & Williamson have invested heavily in new systems in recent years, enabling us to improve client experience and operational resilience,” he said. “Mayank will have a key role to play in ensuring a successful integration of the two businesses, and driving new digital development and innovation to continually improve the services we provide to clients.”