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2/18/2010
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CIO Profiles: Chris Perretta, Executive VP And CIO Of State Street

A global perspective can really come in handy, Perretta says.

Career Track



Chris Perretta, Executive VP and CIO, State Street

Chris Perretta
Executive VP and CIO, State Street
How long at current company: Three years

Career-changing experience: The international experience I obtained in my first global IT role was invaluable. While living in France, I worked on a global team with international products and was responsible for IT from Helsinki to Cape Town. I got a global perspective on technology and development, which helps me to this day. My French still isn't very good--but I can order a good meal.

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: There's one project that marked a significant turnaround for a product. The needs of the customer changed, and we had to create an entirely new way to deliver our product. Within weeks, our team overhauled the way we built and delivered our product, keeping the customer satisfied and adding a revenue stream.

Decision I wish I could do over: I once worked on a product launch that I wasn't entirely comfortable with. It was the right product, but not the right time. That experience taught me to always trust my gut instincts. It's a lot easier to make the tough call earlier.

Vision


The next big thing for my industry: Regulation and transparency are the biggest issues facing the financial industry. While there's no consensus yet on what form new regulation will take, it will affect the development of technology for years to come.

The best way for CIOs to cope with the economic downturn: Cultivate an enlightened view of technology in your organization. IT isn't a cost center that's separate from the business; it's a core competency. This is a very exciting time for financial technology. The products built to automate trading and transactions are having a greater impact on overall performance than ever before.

The federal government's top technology priority should be: Cybersecurity is emerging as a crucial issue that demands a government response. But in the long term, the U.S. must place more emphasis on educating future engineers to create more IT professionals.

On The Job
Decision I wish I could do over: I once worked on a product launch that I wasn't entirely comfortable with. It was the right product, but not the right time. That experience taught me to always trust my gut instincts. It's a lot easier to make the tough call earlier.

IT budget: More than $1 billion

Size of IT team: Between 6,000 and 7,000 team members, including employees and consultants, and depending on our project inventory

Top initiatives:
  • Continuing to add new financial products to our offerings.
  • Providing new real-time data analytics.
  • Simplifying our data architecture using the latest technology to increase throughput and data visibility.

How I measure IT effectiveness: First, we're zealous about compliance and security metrics. While we use a variety of measures to ensure we're meeting the needs of the business, the feedback we get from internal and external customers is very important. This input has led to our focus on delivery cycles to ensure we're keeping pace with market developments.

Personal


Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: Amazon's Jeff Bezos--it's been interesting to watch him build a new franchise from concept to profitability

Biggest business-related pet peeve: Business metrics that don't include variables such as customer behavior or market dynamics

Best book read recently: The Island At The Center Of The World, by Russell Shorto, about the Dutch in what became Manhattan

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a travel writer and food and wine critic for The New York Times

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