J.P. Morgan IT Exec Loosens Grip on Services

FRAMINGHAM (07/03/2000) - Last year, J.P. Morgan & Co. took a major step in a new direction.

It signed a service agreement that let The Bank of New York Co. take over much of J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.'s European accounting systems.

J.P. Morgan officials say it was the first major asset manager to move many of its nonproprietary operational services to an outside provider - more than a year before other major firms.

This week, the woman responsible - Veronique Weill, the former head of technology and operations for J.P. Morgan's asset management services in Europe - started her new job heading these services worldwide.

The first order of business is to turn over the rest of J.P. Morgan's back-office processes to The Bank of New York, she said.

Weill, 40, has been working for New York-based J.P. Morgan since 1985.

Computerworld reporter Maria Trombly caught up with her last week in New York.

Q: Why did you decide to outsource?

A: The technological challenge. We decided not to invest in the infrastructure but to go with The Bank of New York. They are doing the investment in the technology. We are going to focus on added value: the investment management process, front offices, sales, marketing, reporting - everything the client wants. That would really be our focus now.

Q: What exactly will The Bank of New York do for you?

A: We have a U.S. center, a European center and an Asian center, and what we want to do is not have operations processing people in New York and London anymore, just people looking after the trades.

This deal is about core accounting capabilities. That requires a lot of processing, a lot of investment in technology and a lot of people. It's not a business that you start from scratch. The Bank of New York has $3 trillion in assets. They're going to offer this service to other clients, too, so we're going to benefit from that.

Q: Will you have to eliminate any information technology jobs?

A: Around 200 in Europe and the U.S. The deal with The Bank of New York is that people are offered a job at The Bank of New York in Europe. In the U.S., if not everyone is offered a job at The Bank of New York, they are being redeployed in Morgan.

Q: What about outsourcing your accounting systems in Asia?

A: We're looking at it. We have in Asia some pretty strong regulatory trends, so we're going to be careful. I think we should have a position by the end of the year.

Q: What are you most worried about?

A: The war for talent - ... making sure we attract the best people, to retain the best people. What I'm also looking for in my business is to provide the right challenge for the people, making sure they're working on the right project, that they're stretched, that they're moving around and learning new things.

Q: How's the new job?

A: I think the job is absolutely terrific; the challenge is great.

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