Huntington's Rick Sellers: Technologist with a Bankroll

By Iida, Jeanne | American Banker, November 7, 1991 | Go to article overview

Huntington's Rick Sellers: Technologist with a Bankroll


Iida, Jeanne, American Banker


Huntington's Rick Sellers: Technologist with a Bankroll

At a time when technologists at most banks are struggling to cut costs, Lawrence R. "Rick" Sellers has a dream job: He is bringing to fruition several multimillion-dollar projects at Huntington Bancshares Inc.

In June, Mr. Sellers was named president of Huntington Service Co., the three-year-old automation arm of the Columbus, Ohio, banking company.

Noted for a down-to-earth, straightforward management style, Huntington's technology chief recently oversaw a $20 million conversion from Unisys to IBM computers on schedule and under cost. The conversion lets the bank take advantage of inexpensive, off-the-shelf software.

Sticking to Business

Unlike many other technologists, Mr. Sellers does not spend a lot of time hyping his projects.

"It's not that we're so damned sophisticated," Mr. Sellers said. "I think a large part of our success comes about because we try to stay in touch with what the business unit wants."

Huntington, which has an annual technology budget of $42 million, is competing in a retail market against savvy Ohio power-houses such as Banc One Corp., National City Corp., Fifth Third Bancorp, and Ameritrust Corp., which is merging into Society Corp.

As services company president, Mr. Sellers, 42, is overseeing several projects that other banks might consider risky. Huntington is close to processing all its checks through an $8 million imaging system, an expensive technology that promises huge savings but is as yet unproven.

Huntington also formed a $10 million joint venture with American Telephone and Telegraph Co. to market a modified telephone for home banking, a service many banks have given up on as too difficult to market. …

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