Careers: Interviews
Andrea Klein: Top-ranking International Expert in Financial Services and Vice President, Financial Services, Oracle Corporation

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, ISP, DFNPA, CNP, has an exclusive interview with international financial services authority, Andrea Klein.

Andrea Klein is the vice president of financial services industry strategy and marketing for Oracle Corporation. With recent announcements of Oracle investments and acquisitions that strongly impact the financial services industry, she has also become the focal point for those activities. Prior to joining Oracle, Ms. Klein was the vice president for financial industry services and solutions at Compaq. She has more than 20 years of financial industry experience both from her years at Bank of America and her experience building and running a global industry marketing and professional services organization.

Ms. Klein has extensive leadership and strategic experience in the design, development and implementation of payments and intra-day liquidity management systems. She has successfully led a team in developing and delivering a global integrated payment solution, and in the design of an enterprise wide risk management system.

Due to Ms. Klein�s internationally acknowledged expertise, she speaks at numerous financial institution and technology conferences around the globe. Additionally, she has written articles on intra-day liquidity management and enterprise wide risk management for international publications.


Introduction: Andrea, thank you taking the time to share your experiences with our audience.

Q: Can you summarize the challenges stemming from the Basel II accord that will take effect in 2007?

A: A survey sponsored by Oracle and performed by the Economist Intelligence Unit indicates that, aside from the cost of adopting Basel II, which can range from $10 million to $500 million, (depending in part on the size of the bank and the choices selected), a major obstacle to implementing Basel II is lack of consistent, standardized data within the organization. Some institutions have delayed compliance efforts because their risk and performance data is disorganized, inconsistent or in multiple formats that cannot easily be aggregated. The significant investment in analytical and data management capabilities that is required can also be a challenge for many banks.

Q: What would be your recommendations for establishing a plan and communicating it across the enterprise when using technology assets as a driver behind a merger and acquisition?

A: Integrating systems post-merger often presents the biggest challenge to realizing the value of a deal. To navigate M&As successfully, banks must establish a plan and communicate it across the enterprise. When evaluating a potential merger, IT plays an essential role. The acquiring bank must try to assess the cost and profitability of various systems in the context of features and functions. Performance management and business intelligence tools enable the acquiring bank to make decisions that are based on data rather than emotion about which systems survive post-merger. Armed with cost and profitability data, institutions can then model budgeting, staffing, payroll and capital costs more accurately. This information also enables a fact-based assessment of operational approaches, including the ability to compare in-house and outsourcing or off shoring options.

Q: Provide your studied analysis on Payments becoming part of enterprise software and how this links to the recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit of the Economist Magazine, supporting the global move to enterprise wide payments processing.

A: Payments represents between 40 percent and 60 percent of a bank�s revenues. Today, information about the different products and services that drive revenue around that business remain isolated silos. This makes it impossible to run payments as a line of business in the bank; impossible to understand its true cost and profitability. Analyzing end-to-end costs for payments flows, and then accurately assessing their profitability facilitates running payments as a business. It also provides information about payments that reduces risk and cost, and enhances both customer service and products. As delivery of payments becomes increasingly more of a commoditized service, it�s the information about them that takes on great value.

Q: This question provides an opportunity to share your accumulated wisdom. What three significant career events had the greatest impact on you regarding lessons learned?

A: Working in the international market and successfully closing the first technology deal there. This gave me an appreciation for the similarities and differences in regulation and cultural approaches. It also allowed me to bring my knowledge of those international differences to the development and strategies I drove in the North American marketplace.

The second significant event relates to creating a payment start up company that was incubated inside of Tandem and Compaq. While ultimately this business remained inside of Compaq and became part of the professional services offerings instead of being spun out into its own stand alone company, I gained the experience of writing a business plan and successfully acquiring $8 million of venture capital funding.

Most recently, I have had the opportunity to develop and begin delivery of a global financial services strategy for Oracle that includes investments and acquisitions of companies in the financial services vertical market. This has given me the chance to re-orient Oracle�s approach for our traditional products and to enhance them with additional industry focused offerings that will deliver a comprehensive financial services solution footprint.

Q: Based on your experience, can you make some predictions?


  1. Differentiation and success in the financial services market place will increasingly be driven by understanding how to supply improved and rapid information. Markets are driven by information. The Internet has connected the world 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Doing business in this global, always on world, requires rapid, detailed information delivered to the point where it is needed to make business critical decisions.
  2. Horizontally focused products and services will be eliminated in favor of companies that deliver vertical-specific offerings with staffs that specialize in the nuances of each vertical market and segment.
  3. Financial services institutions will continue to evolve their businesses along a line of business rather than product-specific focus, in order to have more control and visibility into the business and to be able to respond to market changes more rapidly and dynamically.

Q: What kinds of disruptive innovations are on the horizon? What are their implications: to business, IT professionals, others?

A: Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) will enable financial institutions to finally transition their legacy environments to flexible, customer-centric, inclusive infrastructures. Instead of having to exclude technology solutions because they don�t fit a component-based services approach will enable expanded choices. Building a single solution based on components supplied by multiple vendors facilitates best of breed at the function rather than product level. These functional components can then be combined to create a very customized solution without individualized custom programming. The software business will evolve from product delivery to component delivery and IT professional expertise on particular functions will become the norm rather than a small cadre of individuals within companies.

Q: What do you foresee for China and India; for what reasons?

A: The business model in China and India will continue to evolve from a system of state-owned enterprises to a private-business model. This will result in a plethora of new businesses with new products and services. Both countries will utilize delivery models that rely on the Internet and supply support and ongoing enhancements with low-cost, knowledgeable resources.

Q: Choose any topic of your choosing and provide commentary.

A: Connecting the financial services supply chain to the logistical supply chain seamlessly will become increasingly important as the global markets continue to connect and drive business around the clock. Standards need to be accepted without modification by individual suppliers and market segments to facilitate true interoperability. Financial institutions must be prepared to deliver more than just the financial side of the supply chain, instead delivering complete visibility into the end-to-end process. Applying the information around the supply chain integration will help to facilitate improved identification of working capital and reduce the amount of disputes. The industry has begun the process and the technology is now available to facilitate the completion.

Final: Andrea, thank you for taking the time out of your demanding schedule to share your widely acknowledged wisdom, experiences, and expertise with our audience.


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