• Business Practices Evolve with Global Market

11/23/2011

Robert KaplanGlobalization is undoubtedly “molding, changing, and shaping” best business practices, guest speaker Robert Kaplan (BSBA ’82) told students in Professor Carlos Rufin’s Global Business class.

Kaplan is executive vice president and head of Global Operations at State Street Corporation, which is a leading financial services provider for institutions around the world. Kaplan is responsible for the daily processing of all transaction-related activities and the design and service delivery of the Global Operating Model. In this capacity, he oversees 2,500 State Street professionals from multiple operating centers across the globe.

Over the past 25 years, Kaplan has seen State Street expand from a national business to a multinational corporation. The global landscape, Kaplan said, has changed the way businesses operate.

For one thing, many businesses today have working relationships with their competitors. “Your competitor is your partner in many cases,” Kaplan said. This type of cooperative competition, also called coopetition, has become a “fundamentally accepted model” because it is cost-effective, Kaplan said.

Access to information has also changed dramatically over the years. New technology connects multinational businesses and enables them to share data instantly. For instance, State Street went from calculating their tangible common equity once a month to once a day.

As businesses become more interconnected around the world, individual countries can have cascading effects on the global market. “Today, you can’t have something happen in the most far-reaching country in the world without it having a global impact,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan has held many management positions at State Street. Most recently, he led the integration of the Investors Bank and Trust acquisition. Prior to that, he ran Cash and Payments processing. From May 1993 through June 2001, he worked in the Toronto office, where his responsibilities included offshore and Canadian mutual funds.

In 1997, he was named chief operating officer for Investor Services Canada. Between July 2001 and February 2003, Mr. Kaplan played a crucial role in global business development, where his responsibilities included strategic acquisitions; joint ventures; and large, multinational outsourcing opportunities.

“I was thrilled to have Rob, a Suffolk alumnus, share his experience with my class. I hope Kaplan’s talk will have a lasting impression on my students, as many plan to pursue global business careers,” Rufin said.

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