Rahul Merchant, who served as New York City’s first Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer, from 2012 to 2014, has been appointed executive VP and CIO of TIAA-CREF, effective April 27. Merchant, who will work out of the financial services company’s New York headquarters, will report to chief operating officer Ron Pressman. He replaces Annabelle Bexiga, who has taken on the role of executive VP and COO within the company’s asset management operation.
As CIO, Merchant will be responsible for TIAA-CREF’s enterprise technology strategy and will lead the teams responsible for core infrastructure, enterprise architecture, data and information security systems, and application delivery for core enterprise functions, according to a company statement.
“Leading-edge technology capabilities are essential to delivering a world-class customer experience and the kind of performance that our customers expect,” comments Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO, TIAA-CREF. “Rahul brings the deep business experience and IT expertise needed to execute a technology strategy that will enable us to continue expanding the range of financial services that TIAA-CREF provides to help our customers achieve financial well-being at every stage of their lives.”
Prior to serving as New York City’s CIO, Merchant was an operating partner at Exigen Capital and served as an executive VP and CIO/COO and member of the Executive Committee oatFannie Mae. He served as senior VP, CIO and CTO of Merrill Lynch from 2000 to 2004. Most recently, he served as General Manager of his own advisory firm.
Forefront of Customer Service
“Thanks to TIAA-CREF’s commitment to technology application and innovation, the organization has emerged at the forefront of online customer service in the financial services industry,” Merchant comments. “I look forward to continuing this technology transformation by strengthening the organization’s IT infrastructure to deliver the business excellence expected of a full-service financial services provider.”
Merchant holds a bachelor of science, in electrical engineering from Bombay University, a master of science in computer science from Memphis State University and an MBA from Temple University (Philadelphia).