Digitizing Our Very Core

Digitizing Our Very Core

September 2019

By Roman Regelman

Today’s most successful and innovative companies are the most open to new ways of doing business.

Closed information technology systems, for instance, for decades guarded by the institutions that built or owned them, have given way to open platforms that reap the benefits from collaborating with third parties.


Many companies are going through business transformation. What’s the best way to go about it? Here’s our approach that we believe will best serve our clients. About a year ago, we launched an aggressive program here at BNY Mellon which I call “Digitizing This Very Bank.” This strategy, the details of which you can read about here, challenges all of the bank’s stakeholders to think about how we can work outward from our core and transform the enterprise to a nimble, digitally-enabled organization.

Roman Regelman

Other Models Might Look Nice...


I’ve seen banks that tout what I call the Silicon Valley model. They invest heavily in innovation hubs filled with beanbag chairs and red felt billiard tables. Drones are flying all over the place. These things create a lot of buzz and hype, but as exciting and hip as they might appear to be, they don’t fundamentally change the core of the bank.


Then there’s the Parallel Bank model. Executives look around and see an institution that must transform itself before it gets disrupted out of existence by digital competitors. They create a brand new and separate digital bank from the ground up. For a while, it runs parallel to the original bank, but usually it fizzles out because, as with the Silicon Valley model, it doesn’t fundamentally change the core.


Blazing a New Trail


We, however, are choosing to blaze a new trail. We are bringing together people from every corner of BNY Mellon’s vast cross-functional talent pool and challenging them to instill new ways of thinking into everything they do. It means using data to set our bank above and apart from our competitors. It means focusing on clients so that their experience is simpler, smarter, and safer. It means collaborating with smart fintechs when we identify a specific reason to do so. It means reimagining everything we do.


Let me dispel a common misconception about core, digital transformations. They’re much less about technology than they are about a company’s culture. We’re discovering new ways of working and behaving differently, as well as challenging “untouchable” processes, decision-making and corporate governance.

“Everything we’re doing … as we digitize this very bank is either about improving what we do or helping our clients achieve new goals.”

— Roman Regelman, Senior Executive VP and Head of Digital

Roman Regelman

That’s not to say our program of digitization isn’t technologically radical and innovative, because it is. We’re going to see new businesses and capabilities emerge – the kinds of things that we could have never dreamed of even a few years ago. Part of our continuing success is that no digital initiative is set in stone. We are adjusting and correcting our portfolio of initiatives every day. This morning, we decided to start a new initiative. And yesterday, we killed one. It’s an ongoing, daily process.


Change is hard. Yet it is imperative that we make the most of the changing global markets. Last year marked a key milestone in history in that over half the population of this planet, some 3.8 billion people, were now using the Internet. The digital age is here.

Roman Regelman

To that end, every single thing we’re doing at BNY Mellon as we digitize this very bank is either about improving what we do or helping our clients achieve new goals. We have the scale and scope to make our digital strategy a success.

Roman Regelman

Chief Executive Officer of Asset Servicing and Head of Digital


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