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DTA Exclusive Interview Series: Five for Five with the Head of IT at ASCENT Fund Services
June 25, 2021 News


The CxO Five for Five is Disruptive Tech Asean’s (DTA) exclusive interview series where we get Chief Executives from around the ASEAN region to answer rapid-fire questions on everything technology-related.

For this CxO Five for Five, we interviewed Ts. Saiful Bakhtiar Osman, Head of IT – APAC at ASCENT Fund Services (Singapore). With more than 20 years of experience, he has been ranked as a Top 50 Chief Information Officer (CIO50) for ASEAN in 2019 and 2020 by the International Data Group (IDG).

With such recognition, Ts. Saiful is responsible for providing the technology, solutions security and support for all ASCENT Fund’s offices in the Asia Pacific. Founded in 2019, ASCENT Fund Services is a Global Independent Fund Administrator company dedicated to providing customised solutions to a wide range of asset managers, capital markets, family offices, investors and private clients. Here are Ts. Saiful’s takes on the questions.


1 – (Crystal Ball) – What is the top technology that you think will transform your business in the coming years?

I would foresee Analytics and Process Automation. It has been our long commitment to provide the best services, the most reliable forecast and advisory for all our clients. A good analytics tool, coupled with our existing pool of experienced professionals, would just be the right combination to achieve those goals.

Process automation would add value and take over the repetitive process. For instance, it would ensure the client onboarding process to be fast, secure and in compliance with the regulations and standards. In this new business landscape, the speed to market and how fast you can get a client on board shall determine your success and differentiate you from the rest.

2 – (Out to Pasture)What technology do you think will phase out of your business?

I would expect the conventional printing technology would phase out very soon. Everything would be paperless, i.e. documentation, filings and record-keeping, authenticating and signing, online verifications, Know Your Customer (KYC) submission, etc.

As we are also 100% on the cloud, the traditional office technology setup i.e. server, firewall, switch, etc. would also phase out. Working from an office is now as good as working from home.

3 – (Chatter Box)What is the best collaboration tool?

My best bet would be Microsoft Teams. It enables all the staff to remain productive and to consistently deliver. To name a few, online meetings are able to be conducted internally and with external parties, project teams are able to be working on the same project paper, real-time, document sharing, etc.

4 – (Be Safe)What is the biggest cybersecurity concern?

Malware that exploits data and ransomware are among my biggest concerns. Data protection is crucial, especially in the Financial Services sector. Apart from being highly regulated, data security is key for us to protect our customer and to create a trusted ecosystem for them to do business with us.

5 – (When I Grow Up)If you hadn’t gone into tech, what would you do instead?

I may have become a lecturer or a teacher, like my late father. I have always been inspired by his passion for teaching and educating the next generations.