Royal Bank of Canada has hired Martin J. Lippert from Mellon Bank Corp. as executive vice president and chief information officer.

Mr. Lippert, 38, officially joins the Toronto-based bank, Canada's largest, on Aug. 18. He succeeds Ken A. Smee, who recently retired.

The $157 billion-asset Royal Bank, the sixth-largest in North America, said it has an annual technology budget of $460 million.

Mr. Lippert is "a key addition to our senior executive team," said Royal Bank vice chairman Gordon Feeney. "He joins us at a time when technology leadership is becoming a differentiating factor in the rapidly changing financial services industry."

Mr. Lippert said his assignment-ensuring that the bank has the infrastructure to respond quickly to market trends-is getting harder as global competition intensifies. He plans to pay particular attention to keeping telecommunication systems up to date.

As executive vice president at Mellon, Mr. Lippert was responsible for about 1,200 employees in the technology area.

He will oversee about 3,000 at Royal Bank, which is renowned for its leadership in customer data bases and for its key role in organizing the Mondex smart card franchise in Canada.

In 16 years at Mellon, Mr. Lippert held a number of positions including chief financial officer.

He said the bank's level of commitment to technology was similar to that of Royal.

In recent years he focused on a variety of research and business development efforts, including the shoring up of technology at Dreyfus Corp., which Mellon acquired in 1994 for $1.8 billion.

"Dreyfus is one of the things I'll look back upon with fondness," he said. "We invested a lot of money into it, and we are seeing those investments paying off."

James Dever, spokesman at Mellon, said Mr. Lippert's management responsibilities would be handled by Allan Woods, executive vice president of information services.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.