Chief Marketing Officer | State Street

Hannah Grove has made it her mission to "eradicate jargon" at State Street.

The idea is to make the language of custody banking easier to understand so that the 225-year-old company can feel more accessible to its clients — and easier for the public to trust.

Over the past year, Grove, State Street's chief marketing officer, has made a push to remove business-speak and highly technical banking phrases from the company's press releases. She has also found new ways to write about arcane financial topics — including by using emojis on Twitter to explain topics such as the blockchain and securities regulation.

"We've wrapped ourselves in complexity, and we've been very, very difficult to understand," Grove said. "The overall language is generally quite inaccessible, and we've really tried to open up to much more transparent plain-speak."

Grove this year was appointed to serve on State Street's management committee; she is the first CMO to do so.

As it is for all bank marketing executives, Grove's most significant challenge is adapting State Street's marketing to fit the digital age. For Grove, that has meant finding new ways to engage online with clients, both existing and future ones.

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She has made a push, for instance, to establish a unique voice for State Street on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

Her social media efforts received a big boost this year, when State Street unveiled its Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street. The statue, which depicts a young girl staring down the Wall Street bull, generated 3.3 billion Twitter impressions within five weeks, and more than 405 million Instagram mentions.

The attention was good for business. State Street runs an exchange-traded fund called SHE that tracks companies with high levels of gender diversity on their boards and in senior leadership, and in the 20 days following the unveiling, trading volume in the fund was up 170% compared with the previous 90 days of trading.

Kristin Broughton

Kristin Broughton

Kristin Broughton is a reporter for American Banker, where she writes about the business of national and regional banking.