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Where Are They Now? BS&T's 2012 Elite 8, One Year Later

Core systems modernization, customer experience-related initiatives and supporting regulatory compliance are among the top priorities keeping BS&T's 2012 Elite 8 honorees busy since they were recognized a year ago. Here are updates on the challenges and projects that some of the executives have been tackling in the past year.

Quick Change

Julie Elberfeld
Commercial CIO, Capital One Bank

Since being recognized as an Elite 8 honoree in 2012, Capital One Bank’s commercial CIO, Julie Elberfeld, says that in many ways her role hasn’t changed — her team is still delivering on the three-year transformation of the commercial bank’s core systems.

“However, the pace of change has rapidly increased. We have implemented many of the infrastructure changes within Commercial and [are] supporting the organization’s growth,” Elberfeld says. “My team has delivered new systems that are empowering new products for treasury management and allowing our associates to concentrate on delivering great service to our customers. The changes we’ve made have us well on our way toward the systems and capabilities fitting for a top-10 bank.”

Elberfeld has continued to expand her team to more than 200 associates, and she has seen the team’s engagement score increase by almost 40 percentage points since 2010. “I am extremely proud of what they have been able to deliver and their ability to stay focused and engaged in a sea of change. It’s been a very successful and rewarding year. But we’re raising the bar and focusing on delivering a huge number of new system capabilities and infrastructure changes that will take treasury to the next level,” she says.

Elberfeld is continuing to overhaul and update many of the commercial bank’s platforms to set the organization up for anticipated future growth, and she continues to enhance the infrastructure her team delivered in the past couple of years, especially around credit, to improve the associate experience and respond to regulatory requirements (for example, those related to Basel II). Her team also is in the process of reengineering the way the firm processes payments, an effort designed to enhance customers’ ability to transact and to improve the service ­experience.

Over the past year, Elberfeld has focused on implementing agile delivery methodologies, which she says is a challenge when each huge infrastructure project needs to be coordinated with multiple vendors that each have a unique approach to delivering projects. She has moved to smaller increments of change and a more integrated and iterative process of delivery.

Core Systems Transformation

Joe Reilly
Executive VP and CIO, Zions Bancorporation

When BS&T visited with Joe Reilly, executive VP and CIO of Zions Bancorporation, a year ago, he and his team were involved in a variety of initiatives. These include initiatives to improve agility and time to market, modernize the firm’s core systems, improve data management and develop a cohesive payments strategy.

These days, Reilly is keeping busy with more of the same. His biggest focus is “quite a bit of regulatory work, as you can imagine,” he says. “But the big news is that we have started our core banking transformation initiative.” Other areas of focus, Reilly says, are mobile banking and big data.

Mobile Momentum

Dominic Venturo
Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Bank Payments Innovation

U.S. Bank’s chief innovation officer for payment services, http://www.banktech.com/channels/elite-8-2012-dominic-venturo-blends-new/240007806 Dominic Venturo, had been driving innovative projects at his organization, using new mobile technology to enhance customer service and improve the customer experience, when he received the 2012 Elite 8 honor. Over the past year, Venturo reports, he has expanded his team and has increased focus on the various opportunities mobile devices create, as well as better covering all three of U.S. Bank’s business units within payment services.

“We have recently begun testing voice technology in terms of using voice as a natural user interface in banking and payment applications,” Venturo explains. “It is a natural next step in how we interact with devices and software.” In addition, Venturo says his team continues to advance its work in mobile payments and has launched a near field communication payments system for iPhone 4 and 4S called U.S. Bank GoMobile. U.S. Bank also is promoting use of its customer cards in digital wallets such as V.me from Visa and Square Wallet. Venturo’s team also continues to work closely with partners in Elavon, the payments processing company owned by U.S. Bank, on its mobile and next-generations payment work in The Grove, Elavon’s mobile innovation center. “We’re working on a number of other interesting things that will become public in the future,” he says.

Fairwinds Focuses On Engagement

Charlie Lai
Executive VP and CIO, Fairwinds Credit Union

2012 Elite 8 award winner Charlie Lai, executive VP and CIO of Fairwinds Credit Union, and his team typically plan to complete approximately 100 new IT projects each year for the firm. In the past year, says Lai, the team has continued its efforts to improve the member experience through the application of technology innovations.

Among the many projects keeping Lai and his team busy are two major initiatives. First, Lai’s organization developed and implemented an iPad new-account origination app. This past fall, the University of Central Florida selected Fairwinds Credit Union as its official student banking services partner. As part of the student banking program, the credit union provided an on-campus branch and ATMs, and has integrated its card payment services with the university’s existing student ID card program.

To facilitate student engagement, Fairwinds’ technology team embarked on an internal development project to extend its existing account origination capabilities to the iPad tablet via a new mobile app designed specifically for credit union staff to use during orientation events. To date, the credit union has opened more than 1,500 student accounts using the app. The app will also serve as the foundation for the credit union’s other branches to transform in-branch retail service delivery. This latter evolution is planned for later in 2013 or early 2014.

This year’s second big project is an upgrade to Fairwinds’ digital banking channel. In late 2012, the credit union partnered with Intuit Financial Services to provide next-generation online banking, mobile banking and a variety of electronic financial management tools to its members. The initial phases of the project were completed in six months, and the credit union converted all consumer banking members on July 22. A secondary phase involving small-business members will be completed late in 2013.

Enhance Strengths, Reduce Complexity

Bill Pappas
CIO, Global Wholesale Banking Technology & Operations, Bank of America

Bill Pappas, a 2012 Elite 8 honoree, continues to oversee operations in 28 countries as Bank of America’s CIO of global wholesale banking technology and operations organization. In addition, he has assumed several other key responsibilities over the past year. Pappas now represents Bank of America on the board of the Federal Reserve’s Payments Risk Committee. He also serves as a member of the board for Apparo, a nonprofit dedicated to delivering technology systems and counsel for nonprofits. In addition, Pappas acts as co-sponsor of the bank’s partnership with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Pappas also supports Year Up, an organization that provides urban young adults with the skills, experience and support to help them reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

Today, Pappas and his team are focused on several significant multiyear initiatives designed to enhance the bank’s existing capabilities, reduce complexity and continually improve the overall client experience. These include Wholesale Model Bank and Wholesale Credit Transformation.

According to Pappas, approximately 70% of Bank of America’s commercial and corporate clients are growing internationally and their businesses have become more complex. “In order to serve their needs, we are developing the next generation of truly global platforms designed to deliver consistency in products and services,” Pappas explains. The Wholesale Model Bank enhancements include one global DDA platform with real-time capability, local language capabilities, client and account integration and transparency, improved data consistency and reporting, and new rule-based product platforms.

Wholesale Credit Transformation is an investment that will ensure end-to-end process connectivity from underwriting to fulfillment, to service and monitoring, Pappas explains. “It provides our clients and investors with intuitive capabilities to manage processes that they prefer to own, and to automate core processes. Some examples of this include the improvement of our documentation process, which will reduce the amount of paperwork required by the client, as well as the implementation of e-signature, which will improve signature and return cycle times.”

Another ongoing focus area involves enhancements to CashPro, Bank of America’s portal for corporate and commercial banking clients, which provides them with access to a range of treasury management, investment, debt and trade services through one online portal. Enhancements are guided by an advisory council of corporate treasurers who use the product.

“Their feedback is invaluable and continually used to improve this cutting-edge cash management tool,” Pappas points out. Some recent CashPro enhancements include a more intuitive interface that businesses can tailor to their specific needs; more robust reporting options; improvements that make it easier for new clients to get started; the ability to make cross-border, low-value electronic fund transfers; check image services and Positive Pay account reconciliation services; and straight-through processing for timely payment delivery.

Time For A Change

Angelo Valletta
U.S. CIO, EVO Payments International

Angelo Valletta, who won the Elite 8 2012 honor, has moved on from his post as senior VP and CIO of Sun National Bank. After almost 30 years in banking, Valletta is now the U.S. CIO of Melville, N.Y.-based EVO Payments International, a privately held payments processor and acquirer for merchants, independent sales organizations, financial institutions, government organizations and corporations.

[Wells Fargo Prioritizes Paperless]


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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