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Bank of America: Building A Sleeker, More Efficient Bank

Bank of America's Bridget O'Connor oversaw a huge legacy system conversion while also fashioning the bank's branches for the future.


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 a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
10/9/2013 | 12:19:57 PM
re: Bank of America: Building A Sleeker, More Efficient Bank
The healthcare exchange mess is hard to believe. We know how many people don't have health insurance, so any business would expect to see a spike of user traffic on the first day. If the outages were confined to one exchange, it might be ok. But it seems that many of the exchanges are having trouble. It is capacity/load planning at a very basic level.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Strategist
10/8/2013 | 6:45:56 PM
re: Bank of America: Building A Sleeker, More Efficient Bank
It's too bad the developers of the federal government healthcare exchange website did not read this article prior to the launch of the exchanges on Oct. 1, so they could have heeded O'Connor's statement: "I still remember the weekends we met debating 'go or no go,' and the plans and discussions we had with senior leaders of the business.They were all completely involved and wanted nothing more than to make sure we were getting it right and not just getting it done." Politics aside, the fact that the gov't system was not ready for primetime is not good for consumers OR for the exchanges. Similarly, no bank of any size can afford to have a core system not perform as expected.
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