Witad Awards 2022: Above and beyond award (end-user)—Mary Yun, Brown Brothers Harriman

Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) is no stranger to emerging technologies. Having deployed artificial intelligence to transform how reconciliations and fund accounting are managed, and applied machine learning to automate the firm’s net-asset value review process, the oldest private bank in the US wants to look and feel new.

Mary Yun, head of data platform architecture at BBH, is responsible for delivering and curating the digital and data architectures at the bank, and her duties span internal uses to the front-end client experience. The Australia native is currently overseeing the architecture development of Enterprise Data Fabric, an internal platform that seeks to unite technology capabilities with business logic and processes, so that users can quickly gain actionable insights.

“It’s not just about using the latest emerging technology; it’s about leveraging the maturity of how we treat data as a business process,” Yun says.

Yun, who joined the bank in 2011 following a 10-year run at the Australian Securities Exchange, is an engineer by trade, but developed a great interest in financial markets when she began her career at Bankers Trust Australia. She sometimes misses the more technical duties that come with being a full-time developer but recognizes that there comes a time to pass the torch.

“Coming from an engineering background—where I’ve grown up doing coding, development, design—it was definitely an adjustment to now, where I spend most of my day talking. And what I’ve come to accept and learn is that it’s that leadership, the guidance that I’m providing others—that’s how I add value,” she says.

Described by colleagues as “the whole package,” Yun also serves as a mentor for several groups, including BBH’s Technology Graduate Rotational program and Women in Technology team, which she helps lead, and the US 30% Club, a global campaign to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels. Her mentoring and efforts in diversity and inclusion are some of her most rewarding works.

“The reality is, at the conferences I go to, I just need to look around the room. I can see there isn’t equal representation,” Yun says. “I am so encouraged, though, by what we are doing. I don’t want to focus on the current state as much, but really just look at what we are doing about it.”

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