Job Title : Royal Bank of Scotland

Organization : Chief Architect

The archetypal ‘paratrooper’ CIO David Lister has once again donned his transformational combat fatigues for a new role at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

The role carries the title chief architect for RBS’ group manufacturing unit, which provides centralised back-office services including IT for the banking group’s many brands such as Churchill, Direct Line and NatWest.

Given the current credit crunch in the financial services industry Lister will have his work cut out and he has been tasked with consolidating, streamlining and cutting the cost of the back-office IT services provided to the RBS group by the manufacturing unit.

Before RBS, Lister spent almost four years at Reuters, driving the company’s ‘Fast Forward’ transformation programme, putting in place a global tech platform and cutting IT costs and his work there is clearly done.

He says: “I get bored with business-as-usual activities. When things calm down I tend to move on.”

Prior to that, Lister was at Boots, where he overhauled the health and beauty retailer’s IT strategy with a £300m modernisation programme and major outsourcing deal with IBM.

Lister actually trained as an architect before moving into IT in local government and then the chemicals industry. A spell in management consultancy at Coopers & Lybrand followed, before joining Guinness where he spent 10 years in senior IT roles, including two-and-a-half years in Seville where he had to learn Spanish.

He then joined Glaxo Wellcome just before the pharmaceutical giant’s merger with SmithKline Beecham at a time when the group was trying to move to being a more integrated unit ahead of the merger.