October 08, 2013

Elite 8 2013The October issue of Bank Systems & Technology introduces the 2013 Elite 8 -- eight visionary bank technology executives who are enabling transformation in a changing financial services industry. Our exclusive profiles report how this year's honorees are leading their companies' efforts to capitalize on mobile, compete on superior customer experience, improve operational resilience and tap into the potential of big data, among other hot trends. To read more, download our October 2013 digital issue now.
"The lobby leader initiative is about recognizing the customer and making sure we quickly route them to the proper expert, but also, more broadly, bringing tablets into the hands of our associates so they can be mobile and more effectively engage with our customers," O'Connor says. "And we are adding features like the ability to show high-quality video while also rolling out the ability to use the tablets for customer pictures and signature cards. It's really about meeting the customers where they are, and not having our associates forced to be sitting at a desk in order to speak with a customer. This allows them to answer customers' questions more dynamically than they were able to before."

For O'Connor, the ultimate potential of technology in banking is enabling simplicity and streamlining the customer experience. "Technology is essential in allowing the customer to interact with us whenever and wherever they want, and to make that interaction seamless," she adds.

In fact, O'Connor says technology has played a critical role in all the places she's worked. Prior to joining Bank of America in 2010, she was at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., where she was managing director and CTO responsible for overseeing the critical IT infrastructure, including core networking services, processing and messaging systems, distributed systems and business continuity. Prior to this, O'Connor spent 19 years at Lehman Brothers and held numerous technology management positions, including CIO and global head of business continuity. While at Lehman, she created LehmanLive, a Web portal that delivered the company's products and services -- from trading to employee benefits processing -- to clients and employees. LehmanLive proved crucial following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when the firm was shut out of its headquarters at the World Financial Center, the site of its primary data center and 2,700 direct lines to clients. Although 5,500 employees were forced to work from home offices, hotel rooms or borrowed space, LehmanLive allowed the firm to resume critical functions.

While not in the office, O'Connor is an avid swimmer -- she used to swim competitively -- and has passed that love on to her children, who are now also getting into surfing. She recently purchased a swimming performance monitor wristwatch, which represents the synergy of her two passions. "I love technology, as you might imagine, and I would describe myself as a collector of gadgets," she says.

Personal Snapshot

Bridget O'Connor

CIO, consumer banking technology and operations, legacy asset servicing technology, Bank of America

Professional honors: Named one of the "Top Power Women" in technology by Forbes.com; sits on the nPower board of directors

Prior roles: CTO, Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.; CIO and global head of business continuity, Lehman Brothers; applications architect for AT&T Bell Laboratories

Hobbies: Swimming

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...