Operational and technology leadership

Operational and
technology leadership

Sowing the seeds
of growth

Lou Maiuri

Operational and Technology Leadership

Sowing the Seeds of Growth

It came down to our people. They figured out how to move work around the planet when China, then India, came under the virus’s siege. I wish we didn’t have to go through it, but it was definitely a proud moment for State Street.

Lou Maiuri Chief Operating Officer, Boston

We have been strategically transforming our operating model for years, reflecting our ambition to sustain an industry leadership position in technology, operations, and execution. Despite the unexpected public health, social, and economic upheaval of the pandemic, we continued to implement our transformation agenda in 2020: pivoting from an asset servicer to an enterprise outsourcing partner; expanding State Street AlphaSM capabilities and revenue opportunities; enhancing our institutional services strategy and client service model; and continuing to improve our operating model through increased productivity and automation, all while demonstrating steadfast resilience and ingenuity during extraordinarily challenging markets.

In 2020, we redefined what it means to deliver globally for our clients, and we continued sowing the seeds for future business growth and shareholder return.

We didn’t put the year on hold. We continued to implement new products, redesigned systems and learned the value of focus.

Andrew Erickson Chief Productivity Officer and Head of International Business, Hong Kong
Andrew Erickson

Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic Head-On

Just weeks into 2020, a fast-spreading virus locked down Wuhan, China, and a devastating pandemic would soon be born. We closely monitored developments while finalizing a business continuity plan for our 4,000 employees in Hangzhou, a city of 10 million people east of the outbreak’s epicenter. When that city closed in early February, our employees began working from home.

The Hangzhou team’s expert response to this massive shift served as a vital playbook for State Street as the pandemic spread, impacting our offices around the world. Supported by our strong flex work infrastructure, by mid-March nearly 90% of our approximately 39,000 employees had shifted to a work-from-home model. This new reality accelerated our adoption of existing communication tools and new collaboration technologies that helped to connect and engage employees, while adjusting to new challenges that for many employees included setting up home offices and home schools.

Later in March, as lockdowns in China were lifted, our Hangzhou leadership team began developing the framework and logistics for safely returning employees to the office in China. Our experience managing our China operations during this period provided the blueprint for an exemplary return-to-office program that we’ve adapted and leveraged around the world as we welcome employees back to our offices. We shared our return-to-office framework and the deep insights we gained from our own operational playbook with clients to accelerate their transition to a new post-pandemic working environment.

Liz Nolan

We managed to keep pace with our strategic initiatives while shifting nearly all employees to working from home and absorbing huge increases in trading volumes and market volatility.

Liz Nolan Head of Global Delivery, London

Defining the Workplace of the Future

The post-pandemic workplace will look different than the one we left behind in 2020, and we are prepared for it. During the year, we created a “workplace of the future” leadership team to help identify the culture, processes, technology, and tools focused on enabling us to implement and sustain new ways of working flexibly while increasing productivity, creativity, and employee engagement. Throughout the year, this team continued refining our vision for the workplace of the future.

Early efforts involved a data-driven examination of the working styles of our employees that will influence how and where they will work, the technology they need to be more productive, and ways to deliver better results for clients and our company. We also launched a formal process for facilitating internal mobility and helping employees attain new skills in order to align our talent to most effectively develop our employees and support the company.

Driving Productivity and Operating Efficiencies

We accelerated our plans for simplifying and standardizing our technology stack and increasing our investment in automation — all to drive greater productivity and efficiency. Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, we continued to execute our 2020 strategy, maintaining our focus on performance and optimizing our delivery and service models.

We boosted employee engagement through proactive, frequent, consistent, and transparent conversations with our teams. We also established and began implementation of a global data center consolidation plan. Leveraging the expertise of our technology group, we applied machine learning capabilities to further automate our mutual fund net asset value calculation process.

Matt Leonard Image

Throughout this entire experience, what has been great is the sense of purpose with which we’ve all operated. From this challenge, I’ve seen the amazing strength of State Street and its people. It is because of that we have been successful and will continue to be successful.

Matt Leonard Head of State Street Hangzhou

Technology is at the forefront of our strategy. We are moving toward building a technology engineering culture.

Brian Franz Chief Information Officer, Boston
Brian Franz

After reducing manual touches by 1 million in 2019, we repeated that success in 2020, for a total reduction of 2 million touches by the end of the year. As a result, we’ve been able to dramatically reduce risk and deliver faster, more accurate end-of-day pricing for our clients. In addition to sustaining our operational and technological momentum, we also transformed our daily routines, moving from offices to bedrooms and kitchen tables, and from meeting clients in person to collaborating over video screens. We worked more effectively, communicated more proactively, extended greater empathy, and challenged ourselves to innovate with every opportunity — all in the name of delivering results for our clients, simplifying our operations, and investing to grow our business.

In a year when resiliency was foremost in our clients’ minds, we also partnered with clients to support and troubleshoot their own technology and employee transitions to working from home, further strengthening our relationships.

Moving Forward Together

Transformation became the cornerstone of our growth strategy in 2020, as we prepared our 228-year-old company for its next iteration as an essential enterprise partner and data and analytics platform provider for institutional investors. With all of its change and challenges, the year gave us some valuable lessons in how to become a better organization.

It forced us to take initiative, support each other, lead with empathy, and better understand what it means to be an essential partner. Not only did outcomes from 2020 improve our operating model, increase our scale, and drive down our unit costs, they also instilled a greater sense of purpose and pride that we are moving forward together to shape the future of the industry and become the leading enterprise partner and platform for institutional investors.

Sana Afshan Shakeel

A challenging year allowed me to take on new projects to support the teams in our Poland, India and China hubs. From launching a weekly newsletter that reduced email traffic to driving process improvements from internal survey feedback, I supported the most critical aspect of our business – our employees.

Sana Afshan Shakeel Corporate Communications Associate, Bangalore
Details 01/19/2021