Ira Schwartz

Work History

Work History


Merrill Lynch

Vice President / CIO, Group Employee Services [GES] (1995-1999)

Managed application development of 401(k), defined contribution, and employee share plans business, building ancillary technologies including distributed voice technology systems, web-based technologies, defined benefits systems, and various document processing systems. Ensured continuous operation and development of LAN technology and architecture throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Maintained customer service systems supporting national infrastructure across sites in Colorado, Florida, and New Jersey.

  • Set Merrill Lynch on track through effective leadership to become third largest 401(k) defined contribution record keeper nationwide with $100 billion of assets under management.
  • Reversed negative cost trends and completed deliverables within $100+ million GES business in support of more than 2 million participants in small, middle, and large market arenas.
  • Spearheaded use of Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for software process improvement, leading team to achieve only Level 3 designation enterprise-wide.
  • Headed due diligence team and managed integration of 401(k) systems of major new client acquisitions into GES family of systems.

Merrill Lynch, Somerset, New Jersey…

VP / Director, Application Development – Trusted Global Advisor (1993-1995)

Led more than 500 development and business professionals in designing and building integrated data environment for client and service information with core systems encompassing client information management, financial service management, service management, and business document support utilities. Piloted shift in client and service applications from account-based, product-oriented structure to needs-based, client-centered relationship.

  • Singled out to guide application of TGA vision, a 5-year, $1 billion application development, database re-orientation, and branch office infrastructure project conceived by Merrill Lynch Private Client Group. 
  • Directed mission-critical project to re-architect Cash Management Account (CMA) systems, which managed approximately 14 million accounts. Led firm-wide infrastructure and software changes, extensive testing, regulatory reporting, and business area coordination.
  • Hired and managed geographically dispersed staffs of different cultures and weave them into teams.Initiated and developed in-house training department that enabled timely and cost effective delivery of end user training.

VP / Director, Client Information Systems & Attendant Databases (1991-1993)

Driving force in rapid-development project to implement and manage pioneering, award-winning Financial Foundation Planning System, the keystone of organization’s strategic direction. Propelled company to recognition as the market leader in financial planning.

  • Teamed with third-party integrator to design and implement state-of-the-art document and mail management systems, enabling company to cut number of regional operations by 83% and generating multimillion-dollar cost savings.
May 2011 - Present

Management Consultant

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Aug 2011 - Present

Management Consultant

QBE Insurance

Leading a $50M transformation initiative involving the transformation of business processes, operating model, and the implementation of a new Underwriting, Claims and Policy Administration system. Leading distributed teams of enterprise, solution and application architects, developers, project managers and business analysts to solve complex business and IT problems.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

Jul 2011 - Dec 2011

Management Consultant

Merrill Lynch

Subject Matter Expert and Product Manager for the integration of the ESPP White Label product offering. Worked with Marketing in the designing the product offering and technology for added functions required for integration into the existing equity product, as well as the roadmap for future offerings of the product.

Feb 2011 - Jun 2011

Management Consultant

Marvin & Pamler

Worked with Management Team & CIO on a 5 year Strategic Plan.

Dec 2006 - Feb 2011


Allied North America Ins Bkg

Directed all aspects of technology for this national insurance brokerage leader of building construction insurance.

§Applied for patent for two industry leading software applications which I designed and implemented.

§Migrated from a 10 year old agency management system to the industry leading AMS Sagitta software.

§Completed the virtualization of servers using VM Ware.

§Instituted complete disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

§Implemented paperless environment utilizing robust document management scanning and workflow software.

§Installed Cisco VOIP system.

§Implemented Contractor Portal which offers several online self services to clients utilizing SharePoint MOSS 2007 software.

§Skilled at identifying and evaluating new technological developments and gauging their appropriateness for the business.

§Demonstrated ability to bring the benefits of IT to solve business issues (Solutions Provider) while also managing costs and risk.

§Ability to communicate with and understand the needs of non-technical internal clients and external clients

2005 - 2006

Interim CIO

NIA Group

A one year consulting opportunity as a transformational CIO to bring all systems and operations up to date to allow the NIA Group to effectively differentiate itself as a technology leader in its field.

2002 - 2005



Founding partner with top management authority for all aspects of operations in Start-up Company, founded to give control of personal data back to individuals. Created DataGuard service to securely deliver universal updates of personal information, including address changes, to multiple corporations simultaneously. Save client’s time and money by replacing redundancy in process with change-once, update-many approach.

1999 - 2002



Directed a staff of 500 administrative IT and back-office operations personnel in all aspects of defined contribution operations. Synchronized back-office IT and financial administrative processes as one integrated unit. Catalyst for positive change enterprise-wide. Trained staff in effective change management. Created high-impact achievement environment to challenge and motivate employees to optimum performance and potential. 

  • Challenged with creating strong team environment to reduce staff turnover. Trained managers in effective team management principles with focus on workplace pride. Enhanced employee incentive and benefit programs. Improved training with PC-based employee handbook.

       Delivered industry-low, 18% turnover rate in call center.

    Increased quality and customer loyalty through higher-performing, more knowledgeable                         employees.     

  • Led company’s first decision support initiative. Selected and managed vendors for leading-edge data warehousing and data marts.
  • Piloted redesign of Knowledge Services’ mission-critical technology, overhauling outdated and unreliable legacy helpdesk systems to create feature-rich enterprise help center solution.

Optimized newly deployed technology with best-in-class helpdesk, asset management, and

          change management applications from Remedy.

  Project managed software implementation in 100 days, on time and within budget.

    Realized full ROI within 12 months of project start-up with no negative impact on clients.

  • Implemented pioneering brokerage account program in collaboration with partner, Smith Barney, for Citistreet 401(k) clients. Generated $300 million in new defined contribution money for Smith Barney in first 6 months.
  • Installed Computer Associates Unicenter TNG to monitor and control IT infrastructure including computing and communications resources.
1986 - 1991

SVP/Global Information Services


Orchestrated development and delivery of mission-critical systems and services to base of more than 12,000 executives and professionals including large insurance processing applications utilizing client-server processing, distributed systems, relational databases, intelligent work stations, local area networks (LAN), and electronic data interchange (EDI). Planned and managed build-out and launch of all systems technology for AIG’s largest business sector. Administered $25+ million annual budget.



Morehead State University