Mellon Bank Corp., in a move to boost the level of its talent in wholesale banking services, hired Lee Jones away from his post as the Treasury Department's manager of electronic services.
Mr. Jones, 47, was named vice president and government market manager at Pittsburgh-based Mellon. Bank officials said he will develop cash management services tailored to various government agencies.
Mellon officials said Mr. Jones is the first of several important systems hires they'll make soon. The bank is also wooing experts from key corporate markets to develop highly targeted, industry-specific cash management services.
"We have created and funded these new positions to basically address what we see as a real need," said Edward Valenzuela, first vice president.
He said it was important to bring outsiders' perspectives into product development. Although product developers know banking and can learn about customer relationships, "what we can't teach them is a real insiders' understanding of the needs of the marketplace," Mr. Valenzuela said.
Mr. Jones had spent four years in the Financial Management Service, the U.S. Treasury's cash management and disbursement arm. He previously worked for Black & Decker, Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and the Department of Transportation.
At the Treasury he was closely involved in the development of electronic benefits transfer systems. The government hopes to use electronic benefits transfer to convert checks for welfare, food stamp, Social Security, and other recurring government payments into electronic form. The process typically uses debit cards and automated teller machines or point of sale terminals.
Mr. Jones played a pivotal role in a successful pilot project in Texas. The test demonstrated the viability of the system, which now is being expanded nationally.
"We could always look to Lee to come up with some innovative approach in dealing with problems as they came up, and they were coming up very frequently," said Kenneth Carfine, director of asset management in the Financial Management Service.
Mr. Jones described his new job as "an opportunity for me to use my knowledge of the government."