August 12, 2014
Growth is good, but along with increased revenues and marketshare, there often are big challenges in efficiency, scalability, and performance. One financial institution that has faced these challenges head on is New York-based BNY Mellon, which as a result of acquisitions and the growth of various business and investment services found itself hampered by siloed business operations, duplicated functions, and inefficient processes. The investment management and investment services company has committed to a concept of continuous process improvement, "a process-focused effort that leverages lean methodologies," reports Jeffrey Kuhn, executive vice president and co-head of client service delivery for the company.
The streamlining effort started about five years ago, says Kuhn, who is responsible for what he calls "change the bank" operations and program management, and for a number of control and regulatory-related functions. His "co-heads," Andy Bell and Peter Johnston, oversee middle-office (which includes business units such as accounting services and corporate trust services) and shared-office (what Kuhn terms "centers of excellence," such as billing, reconciliations, and cash processing) operations.
In 2009, there were a number of discrete businesses across BNY Mellon, each with its own chief operating officer. "I was COO for six of the businesses at the time," Kuhn notes. Recognizing that, as "a technology and operations company that supports our financial services and investment services model," this had to change, the institution embarked on what it called an operations transformation. According to Kuhn, "We were looking to identify common functions and create horizontal centers of excellence. We did this for about half of processing businesses in the bank."
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