Julie Stansbury leads IT at GE Capital Treasury
This GE career veteran is proud of her evolution, with good reason: she rose through the ranks from entry-level IT leadership program participant to CIO
'I was into information technology early on,” says Julie Stansbury, CIO of GE Capital Treasury (Stamford, CT). “I love to learn and I like new things.”
Stansbury has been with GE Capital since 2002. GE Capital is made up of many leasing and lending businesses, she explains. “GE Capital Treasury isn’t a P&L; or a business unit. We’re a function that funds the GE organization overall. Our customers are the GE businesses themselves. Our funding allows them to lend to their external customers and help them grow their businesses.”
Treasury has additional functions, she adds. “We manage risk in a way that keeps the company safe and secure. We drive the overall technology strategy and manage the day-to-day operations of all our IT functions.”
One of Stansbury’s big initiatives right now is delivery of a liquidity data management platform. “A key question since the economic crisis of 2008 has been, ‘Are companies liquid enough?’ Managing liquidity is a critical function for GE Capital and the rest of GE. This project does all the data acquisition work so we have the information we need to evaluate our assets and liabilities. Then we can ensure that we are appropriately liquid.”
Stansbury admits it’s a very complicated project, with data pulled from across GE Capital feeds into the new tool. “We’re implementing a new platform that will provide each unit with all the analytics and reporting its executives need.”
A lot of Stansbury’s focus is on data quality, governance and management. “I often joke that I’ve spent more time thinking about data in the last two-and-a-half years here at Treasury than I did in all the years before. Good data is critical to everything, but because of what Treasury does, it is especially critical here.”
Much of her time is spent on these and other initiatives, all key strategic priorities. “I do reviews of programs and get briefed on their status. I spend a fair amount of my time with people, particularly my leadership team. These are nine people who drive our work in enterprise architecture, business intelligence, strategic platforms and more.”
As CIO, Stansbury is a member of the Treasury senior leadership team, along with the treasurer of the company, the CFO, the chief risk officer, the liquidity director and the operations leader.
Working at the intersection of tech and business
Stansbury grew up in Cincinnati, OH and attended Miami University (Oxford, OH) where she graduated in 1983 with a BS in systems analysis. “IT was a new and evolving field when I went to college,” Stansbury remembers, “and I found that interesting. I was looking for a curriculum that had a large technical component but I was also interested in business. How do you grow by leveraging technology? Miami’s program let me take a lot of business classes as well as technical ones. I liked being able to blend the two.”
She began her career at GE’s aviation location in Cincinnati. “At the time, I didn’t realize how big GE really was. I only knew the local business,” she says.
Stansbury is a thirty-year veteran of the company. “I started with GE right out of college and it’s the only company I’ve worked for in my professional career. My experience has been across the breadth of the organization,” she says with pride.
From 1983 to 1993, she was a project leader, systems analyst and programmer with GE Aviation. From there, she moved to GE Appliances, and in 1998 she joined GE Power and Water, helping to lead its e-business initiatives and steer the development of new business processes and infrastructure.
After a brief return to GE Appliances, she moved to GE Capital in 2002 as the CIO for retail finance, responsible for technology strategy and operations for consumer financing: private label credit card programs, bankcards and installment lending. In 2011, she was named CIO for GE Capital Treasury.
“Seeking out” leads to “sought after”
“Early in my career, it was me looking for opportunities,” she says. “I enjoy the challenges of taking on new opportunities, learning and growing. I am most energized when I feel valued and have great work in front of me.
“Over time, as you develop a reputation within the company, there is more pull. GE is a huge company, but as you move up it becomes a smaller world. Someone reaches out and says they would like you to look at this opportunity or take this assignment.”
Stansbury is a member of GE’s women’s network. As a senior leader, she participates in several affinity groups and events, and supports members through coaching and mentoring.
“I’ve really enjoyed my years here at GE Capital,” Stansbury says enthusiastically. “This is a place where information technology is critical to our business models and how we operate. When I look ahead, I think what’s next for me is most likely a CIO role within another GE business. I’m looking for a place where technology is going to be critical to the business strategy and integral to what they’re doing. I want to be a leader who helps leverage technology to grow a business and meet its challenges.”
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