Recently, Workplace Insights met with Merrilee Matchett, Retirement Services Operations executive, to discuss her business priorities and vision for the future. Ms. Matchett is responsible for managing the operations, servicing and implementation teams that support the Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions (RPWS) business.
Workplace Insights (WI): Merrilee, thank you for speaking with Workplace Insights today! You come to this role with an interesting background. Can you share a little with our readers?
Merrilee Matchett (MM): I’m originally from New South Wales in Australia. A couple of years after university, I joined the Bank of America Operations team in Sydney. This eventually led to ten years in London running the bank’s European global treasury operations and European client services. Later, I left the bank and returned home to Australia, where I married my husband and had two children while leading Global Institutional Operations for one of the “big four” Australian banks. I rejoined Bank of America when I moved to Singapore with my family to lead the firm’s Wholesale Operations, Client Services and Fulfillment business in Asia. All that experience has led to my current role, based in the U.S. and leading Retirement Services Operations. I’ve been in this role for a little over a year now, and am excited about the work we’re doing to help simplify, streamline and improve the experience for our plan sponsor clients and participants.
WI: You have deep expertise in running large, complex, client-focused organizations. Can you describe your priorities and vision for Retirement Services Operations?
MM: My vision is to deliver client-centric operational excellence; first and foremost we are focused on delivering for our clients. That means being able to transform and adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace, staying ahead of our competition and, most importantly, staying ahead of our clients’ needs.
WI: How is technology playing a role in your thinking?
MM: Technology will continue to be critical as we become more digitally-enabled to deliver the kind of experiences our clients want and need, to enable us to enhance and simplify the experience for both plan sponsors and participants.
WI: In your work, how are you balancing reacting today and transforming for tomorrow?
MM: Change can’t be based on intuition alone. We’re taking a very methodical approach to transforming and improving the client experience—using data to help us understand where we are now, and where we need to be. This approach enables us to execute with precision.
WI: How are you factoring in what you’re hearing from our clients?
MM: Client feedback is absolutely critical. It’s important that we understand where clients are succeeding and where they’re struggling. Meeting face-to-face with clients helps us stay connected and drive innovation, which is why J.D. Power recently recognized our Retirement & Services Contact Center for delivering an “outstanding client experience” for the 13th year in a row (2005-2017).1
WI: What has surprised you the most over the past year?
MM: Our people. When I first joined the team, I was simply delighted at the depth of their expertise and the intensity of their client-centric approach. The team’s passion for their work is inspiring, and improving financial lives is our guidepost.
WI: Speaking of people, I understand you’ve been asked to add a couple of other dimensions to your role.
MM: Yes. I was recently named Diversity & Inclusion champion for our Wealth and Consumer Operations teams, and executive sponsor for the firm’s Black Professionals Group in New Jersey. These roles mean a great deal to me because I’m passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Clients want to work with a company that reflects and understands the diverse communities they serve, and we feel the same way. Our diversity brings together different skill sets and different points of view that enable us to deliver for our clients.
WI: What excites you the most about your work?
MM: Our people! When we give our people the best tools to unleash their full potential, anything is possible. Our clients see it, and they benefit from it. It’s all about people and what people make possible.
1 The J.D. Power Certified Contact Center ProgramSM focuses on critical areas of customer satisfaction by rewarding best practices that are aligned with customer needs. To become certified for live phone interactions, a contact center operation must successfully pass a detailed audit and also perform within the top 20 percent of customer service scores, which are based on benchmarks established in J.D. Power’s cross-industry customer satisfaction research. The evaluation criteria include the customer service representative’s courtesy, knowledge and concern for the customer; promptness in speaking to a person; and timely resolution of the problem or request. Additionally, the experience with the automated phone system is evaluated based on the clarity of the information provided, the ease of navigating the phone menu prompts and the ease of understanding the phone menu instructions. Certified as of November, 2017. J.D. Power 2017 Certified Contact Center ProgramSM recognition is based on successful completion of an audit and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark through a survey of recent servicing interactions. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome. For more information, visit www.jdpower.com/ccc. Participation in this survey was paid for by Merrill Lynch.