“EMTM has helped me manage our group's response to technology-related security, scalability and business technology partnership issues. The goal is to drive IT as a strategic advantage in our approach to enabling our clients to execute on their business strategies.”


Joseph A. Ferlisi, EMTM’06
Head of Core Banking & Trust Technology
Merrill Lynch
Hopewell, NJ

Joseph A. Ferlisi, EMTM’06

Driving IT as a Strategic Advantage

Faced with major technology shifts and more dynamic relationships between the Merrill Lynch technology organization and its business clients, Joe Ferlisi knew he needed to broaden his skills beyond traditional technology infrastructure and software.

As director of Advanced Technology Services for Merrill Lynch, Joe enrolled in EMTM to refine his technology management competencies with new skills in the business aspects of technology management as well as classic business management training. He oversees technology platforms for the retail business within Merrill Lynch, serving the firm's global private clients. In this capacity, he manages a diverse team of employees in the U.S. and overseas for the Integration and Implementation Technology group within Merrill Lynch's Global Private Client Technology unit.

"EMTM has exceeded my expectations, and continues to do so," Joe says. "It brings the best of both worlds — business and technology — into context. I can apply key aspects of almost every class I take in my day-to-day responsibilities. The balance of business and technical classes is tightly aligned with my career plans — not only from the job I do, but also the skill sets that I needed to develop in the business aspects of managing technology.

"While IT budgets are growing nominally, we're being challenged to do more with that same budget and to come up with new and creative ways of sourcing technology solutions for our client," says Joe. "The philosophy in our organization is to drive innovation and strive for excellence in execution while understanding the operating cost impact of our solutions. EMTM has helped me manage our group's response to technology-related security, scalability and business technology partnership issues. The goal is to drive IT as a strategic advantage in our approach to enabling our clients to execute on their business strategies."

He adds that, "My EMTM training helps me present justifications for projects in ways that show our team that we're just as conscious about financial impact as we are about technological capability and business functionality. This broader approach builds credibility and trust. Our internal clients appreciate that we're able to evaluate the real business costs associated with technology investments."

Joe, who also holds a B.S. in computer science, serves on EMTM's informal IT curriculum student advisory group, which he describes as "providing a constant-feedback loop into the EMTM curriculum." He plans to continue serving on this advisory group after graduating to help the program (and himself) keep pace with trends in IT management and to stay connected with the EMTM network.