Bankers Trust New York Corp. has hired Carol Coye Benson to help bring the $140 billion-asset institution into the Internet age.
Ms. Benson, 46, joined Bankers Trust from Visa International, where she was director of product development for Europe. As managing director at Bankers Trust, she will work on projects to deliver information to institutional clients using the Internet.
"There is a wealth of information and data," Ms. Benson said. "The challenge is how to make this information useful and usable to clients and to get it to them."
Bankers Trust has two services, BT World and BT Globeview, that deliver reports to institutional clients over private networks. Ms. Benson will work on moving the services to the Internet this year.
"She has a proven track record in building new products and a keen strategic sense that will complement the efforts of our senior management team," said Ms. Benson's boss, Mary Cirillo, managing director and head of Bankers Trust's Global Institutional Services.
Though Bankers Trust is regarded as a technological leader in its wholesale and institutional specialties, competition has increased greatly in the last few years, said Doug Dannemiller, senior analyst at Tower Group, a research firm in Newton, Mass. Bankers Trust will have to upgrade its technology continually to remain in the forefront.
"The competitive fires are burning," he said. "The leaders will be the ones with the leading technology."
The Bankers Trust move brings Ms. Benson back to corporate banking and back to an association with Ms. Cirillo, who worked for Citicorp for 20 years before joining Bankers Trust in 1997.
Ms. Benson spent most of her 20-year career at Citicorp, where her positions included director of strategic planning and of product innovation in the Global Cash Management Division.
During four years at Visa, Ms. Benson's responsibilities included advanced technology strategies and information products. She was involved in a significant implementation of SET-the Secure Electronic Transactions credit protocol for Internet payments-involving 38 banks across Europe.
Ms. Benson said she is happy to return to the business-to-business realm. While at Citibank a decade ago, Ms. Benson helped bring electronic data interchange to the cash management unit.
She said there are parallels between the early hopes for EDI and the current passion for the Internet. Systems based on the Net, she said, have a greater chance of success because they can reach a broader audience that is already receptive.
"When you look at the project usage of electronic commerce, the business-to-business market is much larger than the consumer market, so I think it's a good place to be," she said.