Caso providian trust

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Harvard Business School


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Rev. June 7, 1999

Providian Trust: Tradition and Technology (A)

op yo Within two weeks of accepting the position of CEO of Providian Trust Company, Stephen
Walsh, a lawyer by training, faced an unusual corporate conflict and he would have to play the role of judge. There was an extraordinary difference of opinion between Providian Trust’s internal auditor,
Peter Storey, and the leaders of a major information technology (IT) project in the trust division.
“Peter’s extremely vocal point ran to the issue of documentation, that it was incomplete and should be brought up to speed,” explained Walsh. The conflict reached a climax during an Audit Committee meeting on
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Its origins go back centuries and are based upon some of the highest values known—trust, integrity, and honesty.
It was built upon a foundation of taking care of the grantor’s needs and providing the services that he or she wanted. To put it in modern day language, it was about customer service, customer service that meant doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way for the customer.
— Trust & Estates1

Providian Trust, headquartered in New York, delivered financial and fiduciary services through a network of 216 branches. The company’s lending products—including residential and commercial mortgages and consumer and corporate loans—were the principal source of its revenue
(Exhibit 1). Intense competitive pressures and client demands were driving the need for improvements in the quality of trust services. In 1994 Providian Trust managed $49.4 billion in trust assets with a staff of 840 full-time employees (FTE). Sixty percent of the company’s fee income and 9% of gross earnings were generated by its fiduciary business that year. All three areas of the trust division—Pension and Institutional Trust Services [“PITS”], Personal Trust Services, and Trust
Operations—reported to Michael LeBlanc (Exhibit 2).
Trust Divisions’ Assets Managed and FTE in 1994

Pension & Inst.
Trust (“PITS”)





Assets Managed

#Full-Time Employees (FTE)



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