April 14, 2010

In his new job as chief technology officer for Wilmington, Del.-based WSFS Bank, former T. Rowe Price CIO James Mazarakis says, his mandate is to ensure that technology and operations are in line with the strategic vision of the company. "The vision has to do with customer service for internal and external customers," reports Mazarakis, who spoke with BS&T in an exclusive interview shortly after his appointment to the CTO post in February. "The whole mission for us is to improve service levels and continue to help the bank grow its locations and customers."

To do this, Mazarakis, who also was a divisional CIO at J.P. Morgan and had been serving as interim WSFS CTO since May 2009, says he's starting with the basics, improving internal processes such as help desk call management. The next step is improving infrastructure.

According to Mazarakis, the bank is virtualizing its technology environment and -- seeking improved redundancy and resiliency -- moving its primary and backup data centers out of the bank to two colocation facilities. Currently WSFS primarily uses Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware's virtualization technology at the server level, but it also is increasingly using storage virtualization technology from NetApp (Sunnyvale, Calif.).

In addition, Mazarakis adds, the bank is renegotiating with its bank systems service provider and also is looking at document management and imaging. He says he plans to focus the document management efforts in operations, which processes most of the paper documentation, initially starting with loan documentation. Then WSFS will look to image other types of documents, including signature cards and new account forms.

Mazarakis brings nearly 30 years of experience in banking, investment management and brokerage services to WSFS Bank. In addition to his positions with T. Rowe Price and J.P. Morgan, he also worked on large-scale international projects and merger and acquisition teams at Capital One Financial and Goldman Sachs.

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