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Christopher Perretta
Chief Information Officer
State Street Corp.
(PNR)

State Street Corp. went through some ups and downs in the wake of the financial crisis, but its commitment to technology did not. The company devotes 20 to 25 percent of operating expenses — more than $1 billion a year — to technology development. In 2011, while revenue rose 7 percent, to $9.6 billion, information systems and communications costs increased 9 percent, to $776 million. The consistency "is a point of pride with management," says Christopher Perretta, Boston-based State Street’s executive vice president and CIO since 2007. The 54-year-old, a former GE Capital chief technology officer and Andersen Consulting associate partner, has been around long enough to remember that heavy tech spending "was not always a badge of courage." Perretta today reports to a "very engaged" special board committee overseeing a longer-term "transformational budget" above and beyond ordinary information technology allocations. Technology has become so integral to the activities of State Street, which has $23.2 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $2 trillion under management, that "it may not have meaning in the future" as a stand-alone concept, says Perretta. One way the future is unfolding is in cloud computing: State Street is halfway through a three-year private cloud implementation that Perretta anticipates will accelerate systems development and the "innovation pipeline."