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Where Are They Now? Catching Up With the 2011 Elite 8

As mobile and digital technologies continue to reshape banking, we caught up with some of the 2011 Elite 8 to see how the changing expectations of consumers, employees and partners are transforming their focus.
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Ghan Desai, CIO/CTO, Team Capital Bank (Bethlehem, Pa.)

It's been a very busy few years for Ghan Desai, CIO and CTO of Team Capital Bank. In fall 2010, Desai began a major technology transformation that included a core system replacement as well as replacement of a variety of other systems, including data warehousing and reporting systems, business and consumer online banking systems, branch systems and a public website. The new systems all went live without a hitch in February 2011. "We are well on our way to transforming our technology organization into a profit center," Desai says.

"The significant benefits we have achieved through the use of technology to reduce operating costs can be extended to other financial institutions looking to break from traditional back-office models -- that are manual, costly and human-dependent -- to a model that significantly integrates low-cost technologies to improve controls, reduce costs, and speed up delivery of systems and processes," he continues, adding that Team Capital Bank last year made its first external sale of one of its products, to help a credit union improve customer service in its call center.

Internally, the bank continued its focus on leveraging technology to provide better products and services to its customers and on improving efficiencies by automating the back office. "For example, our ACH origination solution is completely automated, which allows our customers complete flexibility in sending us their ACH files at any time. The automatic process kicks in and processes the transactions securely while ensuring that business rules filters are in place to prevent fraud and limiting credit exposures," Desai explains. "We also are taking a proactive approach to using technology to reduce compliance costs, while introducing automated controls into business processes."

He adds, "In order to transform the IT organization into a profit center, we are taking a very measured approach to ensuring that our business model addresses key areas such as product and services portfolio, pricing and profitability, risk assessment, sales and marketing strategies, as well as support and training."

Even as a commercial bank, Desai notes, Team Capital Bank is subject to the realities of the current economic conditions. "However, we are staying focused on what has helped us grow our assets to almost a billion dollars since our inception in late 2005. This strategy of building one relationship at a time and maintaining the conservative credit discipline has allowed us to successfully build a very strong asset base," he says.


Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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