Diane Reyes
Group General Manager, Global Head of Payments and Cash Management, HSBC

Convincing top management to boost resources is challenging for an executive, and it's a skill that Diane Reyes has mastered.

"There is a time for these requests," says Reyes, who in the past year successfully lobbied HSBC to add technology investments and talent to the cash management and payments division. "If I was at the bank for six months, it may have been harder because I was learning the company's culture and values."

Reyes gets that the managers reviewing her requests are all looking to poke holes in the strategy to test its soundness and to ensure every detail has been considered. So Reyes has embraced a "toll gate" approach, in which there are regular check-ins, management input and adjustments to ensure the progress of a particular strategy. "I had to build credibility, to show we were making budget commitments each year," Reyes says.

The boost in resources was well earned. Her group's revenue grew 7% year over year, driven by new customer mandates, higher transaction volumes and growth in liability balances.

"That growth is hard to find these days," Reyes said. "Many financial services organizations are going through streamlining and efficiencies. What I like is that we are growing at the same time as we are improving our operational costs."

A former Citigroup executive, Reyes was promoted to group general manager earlier this year, and since 2011 has been HSBC's global head of payments and cash management. The division manages $7.3 billion in annual revenue and more than 1 million clients.

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