Chief Operating Officer, Northern Trust

As chief operating officer at Northern Trust, Jana Schreuder is ensuring that the Chicago custody bank stays on the cutting edge of innovation.

Even as it has been cutting costs elsewhere, Northern Trust is investing heavily in fintech research and development. The initiatives range from exploring how new technology could shape the business to building out more user-friendly digital channels like mobile banking.

Schreuder's team is taking a deep dive into a practical application for blockchain technology in fund administration services. It is also actively pursuing the use of robotics and artificial intelligence in custody reconciliation.

Closely related to the fintech R&D is an innovation lab that Schreuder has also championed and sponsored. The lab focuses on high-priority ideas to improve experiences for Northern Trust's customers and employees. One idea being implemented from the lab is a digital collaboration tool to onboard large corporate clients faster and with greater ease.

Northern Trust's clientele is highly sophisticated, ranging from large corporations to hedge funds to sovereign wealth funds to ultra-wealthy families.

Schreuder held a number of high-level posts at the firm, including chief risk officer and president of wealth management, before being promoted to COO two years ago. She is one of four women on the bank's senior leadership committee and is believed to be on the short list of potential successors to Chief Executive Frederick Waddell.

Waddell, who is also Northern Trust's chairman, described Schreuder as a compassionate leader who is also detail-oriented and disciplined in the way she manages her business.

Her ability to strike that balance makes her a role model for others, Waddell added. "Jana brings energy, expertise and a deep caring for people to her job every day," Waddell said. "Her work ethic is legendary while her deep and broad knowledge of banking, global securities processing and technology make her well suited for her role."

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