Vice president Chase Manhattan, Lake Success, N.Y.
It used to be that bankers like Robert Linsky, whose background is in computers and operations, were mostly obscure players.
But now that bankers view technology as a profit-building tool, Mr. Linsky, vice president at Chase Manhattan Corp., has risen from the ranks to become a key planner.
Mr. Linsky, who has degrees in computer and biomedical engineering and business management, is in charge of payment systems strategies at the nation's sixth-largest bank.
The 35-year-old Boston native is charged with strategic planning of retail payment systems across all of Chase's lines of business, including merchant servicing, on-line point-of-sale and automated teller machine networks, and alternative payment systems.
The position was created for Mr. Linsky a few years ago to bring more focus to electronic banking, which enables customers to access funds and information via telephone, personal computer, and ATM networks.
The technology increases customer convenience, an important point in the highly competitive retail banking arena, and lowers operational costs. Chase has taken electronic banking a few steps further than other banks by aggressively pursuing emerging products such as debit cards and electronic data interchange.
Mr. Linsky's job is somewhat unusual in that he works with technology and business managers in both the retail and wholesale areas of Chase, seeking to ensure that the bank has a cohesive payment systems strategy and is making the most of new business opportunities.
"We're looking for incremental improvements in our strategy," says Mr. Linsky. "Technology is always changing, and we want to make sure we're moving in the right direction."
The strategic planning job was a natural extension of Mr. Linsky's previous post as head of Chase's retail distribution division, which included ATM processing and branch automation.
Before joining Chase in 1989, Mr. Linsky was head of retail delivery systems development at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., and before that he was in charge of a "branch of the future" project at Chemical Banking Corp.
Mr. Linsky's goal is to head a business unit at Chase. Years ago, that would have been nearly impossible for a former "techie," but not anymore. As proof, Mr. Linsky points to Chase's own president, Arthur Ryan, who has an operations background. "It clearly gives someone the ability and insight to better manage a business," he says.