Turmoil In The Financial Industry - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
3/7/2008
06:13 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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Turmoil In The Financial Industry

No, not that turmoil. CIO turmoil. A couple of financial heavyweights get new top tech execs.

No, not that turmoil. CIO turmoil. A couple of financial heavyweights get new top tech execs.First, Credit Suisse announced on Feb. 29 that it had a new CIO. He is Karl Landert, according to a company release, and he will report directly to Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan. Landert is based in Zurich, and he "will focus on continuing to enhance our integrated IT platform while partnering closely with the businesses," according to the company.

However, buried deep in the release was this: "Mr. Landert is assuming the IT responsibilities from Tom Sanzone, who has decided to pursue an opportunity outside the Bank."

That led to this announcement on March 3 from Merrill Lynch:

Thomas J. Sanzone has been appointed executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the company reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John A. Thain. He will join the firm in the second half of 2008 and have responsibility for Merrill Lynch's global technology, operations, and corporate services groups.

Sanzone, 47, was a high-profile CIO for Credit Suisse. Last year he was given the "CIO of the Year" award by the Executive Council of New York. He joined Credit Suisse in 2005. Before that he was CIO for Citigroup's Corporate and Investment Bank, the Private Client Group, and the Global Transaction Services business.

"We are very pleased to have Tom Sanzone join the senior management team of Merrill Lynch," said Mr. Thain. "Our ability to continually leverage technology to provide clients with seamless execution and dynamic service is a major competitive advantage. Tom brings years of industry experience in technology, operations, and services and will help us continue to align these critical functions with our business strategies globally."

Landert, Credit Suisse's new CIO, comes to the position having been head of IT for that company's Private Banking division, which is described like this:

In Private Banking, Credit Suisse provides comprehensive advice and a broad range of investment products and services tailored to the complex needs of high-net-worth individuals globally .... In Switzerland, Credit Suisse supplies banking products and services to private banking clients as well as to business and retail clients.

Landert "brings years of experience delivering innovative, state-of-the-art technology solutions to the Private Bank and its clients," the company said. Before joining the bank in 2001, Landert held various senior IT management positions at Novartis Pharma, according to the company, and before that he worked at IBM.

Brady W. Dougan, CEO of Credit Suisse, said: "Excellence in Information Technology continues to be integral to our success. Since the integration of Credit Suisse, our IT organization has made great progress aligning and supporting the Bank's many platforms. Working with our strong IT team, Karl has been an important part of that effort and embodies the innovative and solution-oriented spirit that defines this division.

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