Each year the profiles in Wall Street & Technology's Gold Book provide a window into the larger financial services industry. Depending on the way the economic winds are blowing that year, the profiles inevitably shift from growth to cost cutting, and from innovation to efficiency.
In good times, the Gold Book honorees typically are focused on keeping pace with growing demands from the business and boast about plans to foster innovation. In good times, they complain about the challenge of finding top-notch IT talent in a tight labor market.
In tough economic times, however, innovation and growth are put on the back burner, and efficiency, cost cutting and flexibility take center stage. CIOs talk about cutting spending and reducing head count. These are the themes that are evident in the four Gold Book profiles in this issue.
This year, the honorees recognized on the following pages speak mostly of gaining efficiencies -- getting "better, faster, cheaper" and continuously improving technology operations. But while the themes in each of the profiles are similar, the four organizations for which the honorees work are anything but.
John Beyman, managing director of operations and technology for Citi's global institutional clients group, oversees an enormous staff of 30,000. At the other end of the spectrum, Lawrence Campbell, CTO for the International Securities Exchange, manages a technology staff of just 120. Meanwhile, Jack Zaney, SVP and director if institutional retirement technology at Wells Fargo, manages a crew of 250 (although Wells Fargo itself has a global team of about 25,000 technology professionals), and Peter Magrini, EVP of technology at Northern Trust, works with a team of 1,200 technologists.
But size often doesn't matter when it comes to technology. Large firms such as Citi and Wells Fargo may have much larger businesses and product portfolios than companies such as the ISE, which has a much narrower focus (in this case, a single exchange marketplace). Yet the 2011 Gold Book honorees -- whether their companies are large or small -- all reflect the same state of financial services IT: lean, efficient and flexible.
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio