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Management Strategies

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Technology Leaders Take Center Stage

IT's role at banks increasingly puts senior technology executives in the limelight.

Banking and technology -- in today's world, you simply cannot have one without the other. And, like it or not, business line managers and technology executives better get used to this idea. IT leaders at successful financial institutions are starting to understand that they are essential to achieving organizational goals and, therefore, must be highly attuned to the needs of the business.

It is with this in mind that Bank Systems & Technology presents its 2005 special feature on innovative banking technology executives. These are men and women from banks of all sizes who have demonstrated their abilities to meld technology and business into a winning formula for their respective financial institutions. They know technology is in the thick of things at banks, and they savor every minute of it.

Yet, even as CIOs find they are being invited to sit at the board tables, there still are underlying control and ownership issues surrounding technology projects in some banks. According to a study of financial services firms by Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, bank CEOs -- not CIOs -- have the primary budgetary responsibility for funding new IT projects and investments (48 percent of respondents identified the CEO while just 17 percent pointed to the CIO). Clearly, there still is a way to go before technology executives are given looser rein to steer the IT side of company initiatives.

Still, banking CIOs are crossing the threshold into a new realm of possibilities and responsibilities to shape the strategy of the world's financial institutions more directly. The technology leaders profiled on the following pages are leading the way.

The Technology Elite: Innovative CIOs

Technology Leaders Take Center Stage

Stranger in a Strange Land No More
Jean Davis, Senior EVP, Head of Operations,
Technology & E-Commerce, Wachovia

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Webb Edwards, President, Services Company, and EVP,
Wells Fargo

Building Teams to Build Revenue
Timothy Theriault, President of Worldwide Operations
& Technology, Northern Trust

Small Staff, Big Returns
Greg Bixby, SVP & CIO,
Republic Bancorp

Bringing Banking to the People
Pravir Vohra, Head, Technology Management Group,

Conquering IT Growing Pains
Kent Seinfeld, SVP & CIO, Commerce Bank

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