On November 17, Citigroup announced 52,000 layoffs; by the end of the week, its stock had plunged 60 percent. The industry's troubles are widespread: Twenty-two banks have failed so far this year, the most recent of which are Downey Savings and PFF Bank & Trust. So it was reassuring to hear The Bank of New York Mellon CIO Kurt Woetzel and Citi CIO Marty Lippert offer their takes on how innovation and integration will lead the industry out of its current crisis.
Woetzel and Lippert each took the stage at Hard Rock Live in Orlando last month as honorees in BTN's 7th annual ranking of The Innovators. Woetzel was named this year's #1 Innovator; Lippert was on hand to receive the Peter J. Kight Lifetime Achievement Award. Both men made strong arguments for why innovation is crucial now, why it doesn't matter that technology budgets are being slashed and staff cut, and why the innovation that saves institutions won't be the next iPod, but will involve existing technology and making incremental advances that break down silos and leverage systems across disparate areas of the organization.