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Financial Services CIOs Speak to Embracing New Ways of Working



Digital collaboration used to be a novelty for the financial services industry. Known for its traditional office culture and paper-based processes, the industry suddenly had to find a new pace for change when it was tasked with operationalizing widespread remote work and digital transformation last year. But what was once a pandemic-specific necessity soon became a competitive advantage — leading to improved employee experiences and better client engagement. 

I spoke to this paradigm shift within the industry during Zoomtopia 2021, joined by Greg Driscoll, CIO at Penn Mutual; Sathish Muthukrishnan, CIO at Ally; Mona Breed, CIO at Moody’s; and Neal Sample, CIO at Northwestern Mutual, to discuss how video technology is a catalyst for change.

From return to work planning to improving client experience, check out our customers’ unique insights on the impact of digital collaboration technology:

Operationalizing hybrid work

“At Penn Mutual, we’ve gone full flex. We surveyed our employee base and asked them how they want to work moving forward, and had about 60% say full-time remote, 39% hybrid, and only 1% back into the office. This isn’t the new normal anymore, this is just our normal and how we’re going to function as an organization.” – Greg Driscoll, CIO at Penn Mutual

“The vast majority of our offices are available and people are allowed to come in if they choose. Most of the population is choosing to be remote, and we continue to survey employees on their preferences and comfort. We are assessing employee preferences and which roles constitute certain things. – Mona Breed, CIO at Moody’s

“Northwest Mutual is ‘opt in.’ So we have 50 employees currently coming into the office in New York out of 350. We have similar survey results [as the other CIOs], with 70% [of employees] wanting hybrid, 25% full virtual, and 4-5% back to the office. We’re still in evaluation mode, and we don’t know when we’re going to change that.” – Neal Sample, CIO at Northwestern Mutual


Digital transformation

“Some of the gaps we ran into were really traditional — physical mail, hard copy, and print — and we’re never going back, we’re electronic now. We’re a highly regulated industry and have to archive all our written words. So in June 2020, we implemented Zoom Chat with archiving capabilities across our entire employee base and now we’re rolling out Zoom Phone.” – Greg Driscoll, CIO at Penn Mutual

“At the beginning of COVID, people were tentative [about digital collaboration], financial reps didn’t know the protocol for meeting with people. But all of the sudden our clients were demanding we become digital. Digital was faster — not only more convenient but desirable.” – Neal Sample, CIO at Northwestern Mutual

“Our customer-facing applications are changing dramatically. For someone to call in and rewrite their auto loan, it used to be passing documentation back and forth. Now, they can do the rewrite 100% digitally. And the rate of customer adoption is significant.” – Sathish Muthukrishnan, CIO at Ally


Redefining an industry

Experience is everything — for employees and clients alike. With the right technology in place, financial services organizations can elevate the way they serve both groups, creating a more dynamic way of working as a result.

As the financial services industry embraces a new wave of change, they need to partner with providers like Zoom that support seamless digital transformation in a secure environment. The end result: an industry redefined by innovation.


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