Whether he’s guiding digital transformation efforts as Wealth Management CIO or serving as the executive sponsor of the Asian Leadership Business Resource Council (ALBRC), Vijay Luthra believes in enabling everyone to lead.
With more than two decades of experience in financial services, he thinks the principles of Service, Integrity, and Expertise set Northern Trust apart. “They permeate throughout the organization,” Vijay explained. “I've seen folks cross functional boundaries to do the right thing, and this is what our clients would want.”
Vijay has managed technological evolution throughout his nine years at Northern Trust, from leading Infrastructure Engineering & Operations to serving as the chief technology officer and now chief information officer of Wealth Management. “Every couple of years, I'm fortunate to have gotten a new challenge to take on,” he said.
As part of the corporate priority of “strengthening the foundation,” Vijay is one of the driving forces of digital transformation in Wealth Management. This “Digital Metamorphosis” is focused on improving client and partner experiences from end to end by employing new technologies and implementing incremental change. The process has taught him the importance of hiring smart people and listening to them. “If I enable everyone to lead, and if they have what they need to succeed, I think that's the right way to scale in this new digital age.”
In an ever-shifting technology landscape, Vijay finds that sharing common goals helps people adopt change. “Have a clear picture of the north star, where we want to go,” he explained. “We may not have all the answers, but we’ll figure it out collectively as a team.”
Vijay also applies this approach as the executive sponsor of the employee-led Asian Leadership Business Resource Council (BRC). As the executive sponsor, his role is to help the BRC align plans, make connections and remove roadblocks to achieve their goals.
“What got me excited is understanding the challenges our community members are facing and how to promote programs or events that help them,” Vijay shared. “What are they lacking? What do they want to see more of? You have to define what engagement means and measure yourself against that.”
As an advocate for growing leaders at all levels, Vijay emphasizes the importance of investing in your soft skills. He notes that communication and representing yourself are important for moving forward in your career. “Northern Trust is a relationship-driven company, and building those networks and building those relationships is extremely important.”
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Current location: Naperville, Ill.
Favorite food: It’s a tie between Mexican and Indian
Favorite sports teams: Chelsea for soccer. For football, my kids were born in Princeton, N.J., so I have to pick the Giants.
Hobbies: Getting involved in my kids’ activities and sports. I meditate a few times a week as a stress reliever and my kids meditate with me.
Currently reading: “Think Again” by Adam Grant. It forces you to continuously rethink and refine your position and how you feel you should move forward.
Cause you are passionate about: I’m extremely passionate about STEM education for kids. I taught my kids how to code, and every summer I lead something for the neighborhood kids.
Dream dinner companion: Jeff Bezos for sure. What started as an online bookstore is now a $2 trillion juggernaut. Reading about his principles first approach and problem solving, he’s a very logical leader.
Best advice: “Blame nobody. Expect nothing. Do something.” The Giants coach Bill Parcels shared this, and it’s a great reminder to keep taking action and moving forward.