Job Title : Director of group technology

Organization : Royal Bank of Scotland

An aggressive acquisition strategy that started at the beginning of the decade with NatWest has seen the Royal Bank of Scotland become one of the five biggest banking groups in the world.

As director of group technology at RBS, Stephen Brannan leads a team of around 6,000 IT professionals managing one of the largest telecoms networks in Europe, one of the largest payment systems in the UK and more than 100,000 desktops.

Brannan has been responsible for delivering the seamless IT integration resulting from the banking group’s stream of acquisitions. The integration for Ulster Bank and First Active alone included more than 5,000 IT changes and the deployment of more than 36,000 application packages.

Before landing the top IT job at the banking group Brannan was MD of the RBS and NatWest cards division and managed the transition from two disparate operations into a single entity, which is now the largest issuer of plastic cards in Europe. Brannan also led the purchase of WorldPay, Grupo Santander’s German card business and People Bank’s cards division. In that role Brannan was also a member of Visa’s European board and chair of the UK cards payment group of Apacs, the UK payments association.

Brannan also sponsored Y2K preparations and initiated group-wide planning for the introduction of the euro.

Brannan began his career at Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, moving on to Comshare Software and Scottish Widows before becoming a senior partner at PA Consulting where he specialised in business process re-engineering, change management and IT strategy.

His hobbies include golf and tennis.