INTHEBLACK April 2022 - Flipbook - Page 50
// C A R E E R PAT H
STORY GLENN CULLEN
Right: Rick Hartono FCPA
PHOTOGRAPHY REBECCA TOH
Rick Hartono FCPA attributes his confidence, resilience and communication skills to
the different perspectives he developed by being part of a minority in his community.
ick Hartono FCPA has always been
comfortable in his own shoes. His ease
with himself, as well as with others, has
helped to shape what has already been an
eclectic 18-year career in accounting and
Executive director and head of business risk
and control management for group wholesale
banking at United Overseas Bank (UOB) in
Singapore, Hartono works at the front line to
drive proactive risk ownership and
accountability, promote ethical conduct,
centralise oversight of non-financial risks and
drive control enhancements.
Having migrated to Australia from Indonesia
when he was five years old, Hartono knows
what it’s like to be an outsider.
One of only a few students from an Asian
background at his high school, he embraced
the difference and took on the challenges that
came his way.
“Being part of a minority actually helped me to
build resilience, communicate better and think on
my feet. It really paid off later in life,” he says.
Initially unsure of the career path he wanted
to take, Hartono attended a career fair where
accounting firms offered cadetships to
undertake while completing a university
degree. He decided on a role with Deloitte,
while also working on his bachelor of business
degree in the evenings.
50 ITB April 2022
After graduating and obtaining his CPA
qualification, Hartono followed the direction of
so many other young Australians – towards the
UK. Relocating to London on a working holiday
visa, he initially worked part-time at a television
production company before securing a role in
product control with a Swiss bank.
“I remember vividly that the guys beside
me had degrees from some of the best
universities in the UK,” Hartono says. “They
gave me a look as if to say, ‘How the hell did
you get here?’. But I took it in my stride and
just tried to work harder than them, looking
to add value in my role each day and build
relationships with people within and outside
This mindset paid off. Initially apprehensive
when the bank announced its plan to move
certain functions to Singapore, Hartono took
a secondment to train local staff. He was
ultimately offered a permanent post in
Singapore and went on to become the vice
president of product control, managing 14 staff
responsible for monitoring daily trading activity
and ensuring that the traders’ books reflected
fair market pricing of assigned portfolios.
PLAYING TO HIS STRENGTHS
Hartono’s next significant career move came in
2010, and it was again his skill in reading a
situation as much as his qualification that helped
him along. In the aftermath of the global
financial crisis, internal auditing was in high
demand, and the Singapore branch of a US
bank had 10 positions available. This was all
well and good, except that Hartono had no
direct experience in this area.
He played to his strengths – knowledge
acquired in product control, front-to-back
process background and a strong willingness
to learn. Internal auditors filled nine of the
positions, and he got the tenth.
“If it was two or three positions, there was
no way I would have gotten the role. I was
lucky in that sense,” he says. “But I got my
foot in the door, and again I just had to work
hard to differentiate myself from my peers.”
Travelling extensively across South-East Asia
in the role, he developed strong relationships,
opening the door for a position in senior
compliance management that covered
regulatory reporting and later corporate
IN THE MOMENT
In talking about his career moves, Hartono
says his focus has been on the present and on
adding value for stakeholders each day, rather
than planning on changing roles every few
years to work his way up the corporate ladder.
“I never consciously looked for bigger and
better things,” he says.