Vitale Departs State Street

May 16, 2003 ( - Ralph Vitale, one of State Street's more high-profile executives, has quit the Boston-based bank, officials there say. His last day at the bank will be the end of next month, "exactly 17 years and four days" since he joined State Street, says Vitale.

Vitale, an executive vice president, made his way through State Street on the back of the securities lending group, which he took from a small operation to – as often as not in any given year – a powerhouse in terms of its contribution to the organization’s bottom line. Indeed, few would take issue with the assertion that State Street became under Vitale the most powerful agency player in the securities lending business.

Last year Vitale was put in charge of perhaps the most important acquisition in State Street’s history, the Deutsche Bank custody purchase, now being transitioned into the bank (see State Street Outlines Deutsche Operation Integration Plans ). Industry wisdom has it that that process is going relatively well, so it is far from clear why Vitale, only 55, would be exiting the bank at this time. Vitale himself offers no clue, simply noting that “there’s always got to be a time, and this was a perfect time for me in a lot of ways – nobody wants to do a Michael Jordan and stay on too long.”

Vitale professes to have no concrete plans for the immediate future, other than to indulge in a lifelong passion for casting flies at a wide assortment of fresh and saltwater gamefish, but he does acknowledge that it would be unlikely if the industry had seen the back of him.

At this juncture, it is unclear who would take over responsibility for the Deutsche Bank conversion, although Vitale noted that the integration was working “well enough” so that a successor might not be needed. He said that Ed O’Brien had effectively been running the securities lending group for some time.