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Profile: Tracy Atkinson '88, State Street Executive

by Nanette Cormier


Tracy Atkinson '88 was a guest lecturer at a
College of Management class in March 2011.
She stands with Dean Phil Quaglieri.

As two institutions with deep local roots, State Street Bank and UMass Boston have much in common. Both have a social commitment to the city. Both facilitate prosperity - one for banking clients - the other for students. Both create “products” having global impact - financial instruments for State Street Bank, knowledge for UMass Boston.

That’s why Tracy Atkinson ’88, executive vice president for corporate finance for State Street Corporation is so pleased that the bank and the University of Massachusetts share a strong partnership.

“It’s a winning formula,” she says. “UMass Boston students bring a level of maturity and a broader perspective [compared to students from other colleges]."  “The bank gets a stream of mature, diverse talent and the city benefits.” In addition to the company's precedent for hiring university graduates, and the two institutions have built a successful exchange through the State Street Scholars Program which offers paid internships and scholarship assistance to UMass Boston undergraduates.

Atkinson has always valued the university’s access, which opened the gate of tremendous opportunity for her back in 1984. Given the escalating cost of private colleges and universities, today she considers Since then, she views the accessibility of public higher education even more vital.

Atkinson was the featured speaker at State Street Connect in October 2012.  The annual event is hosted by the University of Massachusetts and State Street Corporation to celebrate the growing number of employees who are alumni of UMass. She was  joined by UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, and Dean of the College of Management at UMass Boston, Philip L. Quaglieri. Current and former “State Street Scholars,” an undergraduate internship program, also gathered to network with the UMass/State Street alumni community.

Beyond these inspirational teachers and the solid knowledge she gained, 
the overall climate of UMass Boston most keenly shaped the professional 
she would become.

As an undergraduate, Atkinson commuted from West Roxbury and was particularly inspired by two College of Management faculty members. One sparked her interest in public accounting which led her to 16 years of service in the audit division of the then PricewaterhouseCoopers; and another made her hungry to learn more about the financial services industry. But beyond these inspirational teachers and the solid knowledge she gained, the overall climate of UMass Boston most keenly shaped the professional she would become.

The university taught Atkinson how to relate well to a range of different people, and modeled the importance of “seeing things differently.” The College of Management cultivated the skill of challenging the conventional thinking and asking questions that might upset the status quo, but lead to important changes.

After making partner at PwC, she arrived at State Street Corporation four years ago, first as chief compliance officer for State Street Global Associates, then as chief compliance officer for the corporation. Recently she was promoted to her current role as executive vice president where she oversees the Global Treasury and Structured Products divisions and Investor Relations. In the Global Treasury division alone, she oversees the bank’s investment portfolio of over $100 billion.

The timing of Atkinson’s arrival at the corporation and the global economic crisis,dovetailed almost perfectly, making her tenure at State Street particularly challenging. Reflecting on the breadth of her responsibilities, she believes it all comes down to the personal.

The financial services industry is about helping people to achieve goals: for their family, children’s education, retirement, and more. Partnering with an institution requires the investor’s greatest trust. Atkinson feels privileged to have a role to insure that integrity is the starting point for every relationship State Street builds.

If you are a University of Massachusetts graduate who works at State Street, or a current or former State Street Scholar, and would like to get involved with State Street Connect, please contact Loren Van Allen at 617.287.5340. we hope you will join us on October 25.

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