Most Highly effective Ladies to Watch: Jennifer Smith, Zions Bancorp.

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Chief Info Officer

Jennifer Smith has a bunch of know-how tasks within the works at Zions Bancorp.

The $76 billion-asset Zions is within the midst of a multiyear mission to revamp its core banking system, however Smith has discovered time to supervise investments in different know-how meant to enhance service for buyer segments equivalent to middle-market and small companies.

These new capabilities have been put to the take a look at with the onset of the pandemic, and Smith, the company chief info officer, is happy with the outcomes. She credit the investments — in automated processing, collaboration platforms and software programming interface capabilities — with permitting Zions to shortly construct a digital system for processing and approving tens of hundreds of Paycheck Safety Program loans.

Smith takes an extended view in the case of the office as effectively. With most of her 2,000-plus workers scattered throughout 11 amenities within the Salt Lake Valley, Smith lobbied to construct a brand new, cheaper, 400,000-square-foot campus to deal with the native contingent. The campus is scheduled to be accomplished in mid-2022.

To collaborate successfully, Smith stresses the significance of relationships, whether or not it’s between a banker and small-business prospects or amongst firm leaders. The pandemic has solely strengthened the significance of relationships in all aspects of her life.

Whereas checking on Zions’ buildings after an earthquake hit outdoors Salt Lake Metropolis in March, Smith got here throughout a safety guard sitting alone in a facility that had misplaced energy. “Her face and voice broke and confirmed the agony that solely a pandemic, an earthquake and loneliness can deliver,” mentioned Smith, who stayed there till the guard’s employer launched her for the day.

“When experiencing uncertainty, we’d like {our relationships} probably the most,” Smith mentioned.

For the primary time, American Banker’s Most Highly effective Ladies in Banking celebration is open to the entire monetary group. Be a part of us nearly October 6-8 to listen to our 2020 honorees’ tales and experiences. Register here.

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