AFTAs 2016: Best Technology Executive: Buy Side—Scott Murray (Northern Trust)

Murray was named CTO at Northern in 2011.

best-technology-executive-buy-side-scott-murray

You don’t have to look any further than a head of tech’s technology team to get a true understanding of how good he or she is at their job. How well they are able to construct and manage a team of technologists says a lot about their ability as a leader.

Scott Murray fits the bill of a strong leader of technologists. One need look no further than the relationship between Northern Trust and the American Financial Technology Awards to see how evident that is. Murray was named CTO at the massive Chicago-based asset manager in July 2011, and just over a year later the firm won its first AFTA in 2012 for the best reporting initiative.

Northern returned to the winners’ circle in 2014, winning best infrastructure initiative. The following year proved to be even more fruitful. It took home wins in two categories: best analytics initiative and best cloud initiative.

This year was more of the same. Northern Trust won the best global deployment and reclaimed its crown for the best infrastructure initiative.

While all of these wins show the benefits Murray’s tenure has afforded the firm, the latter award speaks directly to Murray’s leadership. His favorite saying is “architecture first,” a nod toward the importance of setting up the firm for success via its underlying infrastructure backbone.

“It’s about building things the right way for the long haul,” Murray told Waters in October 2015. “You could get the same result from building a house in a quick manner or you can build it with a very strong foundation and it won’t show for multiple years. There is lots of focus on doing it the right way for the long haul.”

While all of these wins show the benefits Murray’s tenure has afforded the firm, the latter award speaks directly to Murray’s leadership. His favorite saying is “architecture first,” a nod toward the importance of setting up the firm for success via its underlying infrastructure backbone.

Murray has done exactly that, setting up the firm for success for years to come. Noticing the trend toward a greater significance on big data, and the analytics that go with it, Murray had his team develop a next-generation data warehouse, which uses a combination of big data and a data lake with Hadoop to create database appliances for an enterprise data warehouse.

Murray also takes several trips a year to Silicon Valley to stay abreast of the latest technologies and is a big proponent of the Agile development methodology.

“We’ve got a whole set of initiatives around how we develop software and integrate software faster around our DevOps, continuous integration space, service line and architecture,” Murray says. “It’s a continuation of applications with some of our reusable framework and the Agile software capabilities.”

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page