State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT) is one of the world's leading providers of financial services and technology to institutional investors, including investment servicing, investment management and investment research and trading. They service and manage investments for the world’s governments, institutions and investment companies through a global network of approximately 39,000 employees in more than 100 geographic markets.
This year State Street celebrates 25 years in Ireland and 20 years in Kilkenny with 2,000 employees across Dublin, Drogheda, Naas and Kilkenny. They are the largest provider of fund administration and custody services with US$1.7 trillion in assets serviced across all asset classes. The Irish group also manages US$317 billion within its investment management division, State Street Global Advisors (as of September, 2021).
We spoke to Liam Varley, senior manager for the Cyber Defense Center about his role at State Street and about future plans to establish a new specialist team to provide technology infrastructure and cyber security services to support group operations globally.
Strong and growing
In September 2021, State Street announced that they will open a new Cyber Security Centre that will employ around 400 technology experts on a phased basis over the next two years. “I started working with State Street in July 2021 as I was attracted to this exciting opportunity to be a vital part of a major digital transformation, the set-up of new cyber security centre and overall operations,” says Liam Varley. “We are currently recruiting across multiple levels, roles and sectors. As far as the technology roles, we are looking for software developers, cybersecurity operations analysts, cybersecurity instrumentation engineers, data scientists, cybersecurity forensics and investigations experts, pen testers and governance as well as risk and compliance experts. Of course, there are multiple opportunities in finance across investor services, fund administration and transfer agency as well as investment management.”
The new unit will be located at IDA Ireland Business and Technology Park in Kilkenny where State Street is developing a new state-of-the-art office and already employs approximately 600 people . Reflective of new ways of working post COVID-19 and of staff preferences for flexibility and remote working, the new office will accommodate above average occupancy levels enabling it to draw on a broad staff pool along the east coast and midlands.
Cybersecurity – the new “it” job in fintech
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, information, networks and programs from digital attacks. So what is the role of a cybersecurity expert? “Our team monitors the internal network and all the devices for potential malicious events. Typically, I review all the daily threats that are reported and check with the team about their updates. The team deals with all security events and phishing, so generally we see something new every day, which we all can learn from. I also collaborate with the cyber and IT teams in other global locations to understand what’s happening in their space,” explains Liam. With the fast-paced digitalization of most of the financial services and new emerging technologies, the amount and types of cyber threats are constantly increasing. This creates a variety of learning and development opportunities for cybersecurity experts. “In cybersecurity, the challenges are endless. We have different types of threats directed towards the firm, so the team is always on the lookout for new techniques being used. Also, attackers generally try and target companies during holidays, so our team always has to be mindful of what may happen out-of-hours. I enjoy learning new things every day,” he adds.
Life at State Street and social impact
State Street is not only one of the leading organizations in finance industry in Ireland, but also has proven its commitment to making a social impact. “Apart from the opportunity to develop professionally, the culture and leadership was the primary reason why I joined State Street,” says Liam.
From championing gender, racial and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership, to leading the conversation on climate change risk and aiming for carbon neutrality for their own operations - they strive to make a meaningful difference. In 2020, State Street supported Rethink Ireland €1.5 million Ability to Work Fund, which, in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection & the Department of Rural and Community Development, is helping develop the talents and skills of those living with a disability. Employees give their time and energy to causes that matter through many volunteering and fundraising programmes - every employee is eligible to take two paid volunteer days a year.
“The work culture is great and the company has a number of ongoing initiatives highlighting the inclusive and diverse culture here. There are many active employee networks for professional women, LGBTQ+ and programmes for employee wellbeing, learning and engagement to ensure friendly, inclusive and a well-balanced work environment. It is really an exciting time to be at State Street and there are great opportunities to learn and grow,” he concludes.
Explore career opportunities in finance and technology at State Street in Ireland here: