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Campbell's Leadership Helps Ready Deutsche Bank's Payments Infrastructure for SEPA

Mary Campbell orchestrated the perfect harmonization of Deutsche Bank's IT systems to make the bank a leader in SEPA-compliant services.

Campbell had no such expectations when she first entered the banking business in the 1980s. After receiving a diploma in financial services from the Institute of Bankers in Ireland (Dublin), she began a stint with the retail arm of Dublin-based Ulster Bank before transferring to the bank's treasury division. Campbell says the move was instrumental in preparing her for a career in banking.

"The transfer to treasury was an excellent learning opportunity," she relates. "In 1980 the treasury unit was still relatively small, but it experienced significant year-over-year volume growth. Additionally there was great benefit to being involved at the early stage of treasury expansion -- I was exposed to all aspects of the business, across all treasury products, rather than being restricted to silo- or product-specific responsibilities."

Campbell didn't start working in financial services IT in earnest until 1996 when she joined Deutsche Bank's global technology and operations division as a VP. She says the position gave her insight into the importance of IT to the rest of the business. "My operational responsibilities and my close cooperation with the business meant that I was able to appreciate the importance of IT services to the business from an end-user perspective," she explains. "Banking is about people being touched by technology -- technology is not the end but, rather, a means to an end."

Of course, how people leverage technology also goes a long way in shaping their experiences. For Campbell, staying connected to the office is almost always a 24x7 responsibility. "It's very difficult not to take the job home," she says. "I work in a global organization with a team spread across 45 locations. Because of the different time zones and the resulting variations in the work week, it is difficult to identify a time when there is not something happening somewhere in my organization."

Campbell does, however, credit advances in remote access technology in helping her to strike a better home/work life balance. "In the evening and on weekends, I can quickly check on the status in different regions from my home office or from my PDA, requiring a minimum of interruption to my home life," she says.

Peace of Mind

In the end, though, peace of mind comes to anyone in such a position when they know they have a good team behind them, Campbell notes. "I'm a facilitator and enjoy creating the right environment and opportunities for my team to develop and deliver high-quality solutions for the business and for clients," she explains.

"I understand the environment and the associated risks well enough to know where I need to be directly involved versus where I can afford to step back," Campbell continues. "Over the course of my banking career, I have been fortunate to work with excellent teams -- people who genuinely enjoy operating as a team and take as much pleasure in team results as in individual or personal results."

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