Abe

Abe Karar

Founder, ALCHEMY Digital Solutions

Abe Karar

Founder, ALCHEMY Digital Solutions

Digital Transformation | Operational Excellence | FinTech | Innovation

Savvy, accomplished, high-integrity, bilingual leader, highly regarded for strategically guiding new products, processes, technologies and management information systems to drive business performance, client engagement and operational excellence. Out-of-the-box, analytical thinker and visionary recognized for creativity and innovation. Sought for consummate expertise in executing large-scale transformational initiatives across key strategic enterprise programs (+$200M), developing and implementing operational controls and action plans, and transforming strategic plans into business solutions that streamline business processes, improve customer experience, mitigate risks, reduce costs, increase productivity ratio and enhance overall ROI.

Subject matter expert on Digital/Open Banking, Digital Transformation, Digitization, Digital Strategy, Customer Experience Management, Business Architecture and Data Analytics. Proficient in recognizing and retaining individual talent, building high-performing teams and cultivating a culture of collaboration and winning.

Exceptional academic qualifications, including teaching Corporate Performance Management, amongst other courses, at the triple-accredited Telfer professional MBA program, at the prestigious University of Ottawa in Canada.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Digital Transformation

Client Experience Management

Business Process Digitization

Digital/Open Banking

Customer Journeys

Operational Risk Management

Banking/Financial Services

Training & Facilitation

Business Analytics & Reporting

Business Strategy

PMO/Delivery

Performance Management

TESTIMONIALS

“I have had the opportunity to work with Abe on various times during his career at Bank of America. During this time, I have witnessed his continuous growth in a number of areas extending from an exceptional commitment to individual and team goals, impeccable attention to detail, desire to always raise the bar and most recently, effectively managing the efforts of others.

While Abe has gone through these changes, the one constant has been that he pushes himself harder than any team mate can do. His contributions have been invaluable to many. His attitude is contagious. He is committed to his own work, while also regularly supporting others with their own goals. Abe is a true asset to the Bank of America and he has proven his ability to be successful across many roles. I wish him much luck in his endeavours”

Deb Blair, Senior Operations Manager – Bank of America

“I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Abe on the eForms/eSignature Project, a large Enterprise Transformation project at BMO. Abe has a strong ability to lead teams and deliver on significant project milestones on time, on budget and on schedule. Abe’s experience and analytical prowess enable him to identify and navigate around large program risks. He is very creative and open-minded when leading the team through planning possible options for the project.

One of the very impressive qualities I must mention about Abe is his passion for technology and his ability to adapt to new. Abe and I worked together to deliver a very advanced capture flow designed to help branch employees to scan and store the paper documents as fast as possible with very little errors. Abe continued to amaze me as well with his knowledge about e-signatures when we had various discussions with business and vendors. He is very knowledgeable on this topic and he provided very valuable input about the way to use it in combination with the tablets and/or desktops to offer our customers the best experience.

Abe’s personal qualities also served him well professionally: his exceptional calm and a steady judgement come through consistently throughout the project. Not only is he always positive and constructive, ready to address the situation hands-on, but also managed to transmit these qualities to team members and their interactions.

Abe’s strong communication skills enable his to facilitate the program governance process with Executive Management.”

Cristina Busuioc, Senior Technology Officer – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is one of the most professional, knowledgeable and thoughtful people that I have worked with on the eForms/eSignature project under the Digitization program. He shows great passion designing, developing and implementing optimized technology solutions for complex problems. He is the “Go To” person in the Digitization space for his knowledge of the digital capabilities, his understanding of the issues, his original creative ideas and his thorough execution.

Working with Abe on various aspects of eForms/eSignature, I’ve found him intellectual, organized, creative and dedicated. He has broad experience and knowledge, and works very well with diverse groups of people. He can be counted on to plan carefully and thoroughly, to mobilize the needed resources, to motivate stakeholders, and to make sure things get done in a timely manner with great results. He worked effectively with the Digitization team as well as other major internal partners and external vendors to ensure that the overall solution was delivered, meeting the needs of current digital world and enhancing customer and employee experience.

Abe is one of the best colleagues that I have worked with and have enjoyed all of our encounters, and I recommend him very highly!”

Varun Trivedi, Digitization Business Analyst – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe and I collaborate frequently as colleagues and his experience and significant technical capabilities are not only valuable to my servicing areas but to the entire line of business as well. Under his leadership, the Workforce Management team addresses all matters regarding capacity planning, strategic budgeting and resource allocation. Equally unique to his skill set is his ability to leverage his extensive problem solving skills towards resolving complex reporting and staffing issues that arise within our environment.

On a personal note, Abe is well perceived by his peers and senior leadership team for his interpersonal skills and his genuine desire to foster an environment that is conducive to collaboration and productive working relationships at all levels of the organization. His ability to multi-task his career workload coupled with a demanding Mathematics Applied Analysis degree is a clear reflection of his discipline towards achieving his goals, strong organizational skills and work ethic.”

Giovani Bazile, Service Operations Team Lead – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Abe has been an integral part in developing core processes and infrastructure on the team to ensure that the day to day functions are being executed more efficiently in order to free up additional time for the team to complete other things. There are a number of key accomplishments including development of a scheduling “software” to execute schedules outside of the limited EWFM tool, launch of SharePoint, the flex scheduler as well as a number of “high priority” assignments outside of the scope of WFM (i.e. AML remediation).

Abe has also made significant strides in the training and development of his staff, while also hosting “lunch and learn” type sessions for the team managers at the sites. This has assisted in expanding the knowledge base and cross-functional expertise of his team. Some progress has been made with the managers within WFM – they have improved their leadership and performance management skills.”

Tara Shea, Senior Business Operations Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“It has been a great experience to work with a passionate business partner like Abe through the eForms/eSignatures project in the past year. Abe has been a champion for the business, trying to leverage the technology to the fullest to transform and simplify the business processes.

Abe’s technical acumen is beyond a normal business lead, he constantly tried to push the envelope forward by supporting technology innovation efforts. He built a GMC COE team on business side to execute form template design – a technical function that integrated seamlessly with business function. He worked closely with technology partners throughout the project, he always took a great interest in the technical solution in more details, and was able to understand and articulate the E2E solution in the business context. He has been a great support and effective liaison between Business and Technology on the eForms/eSignature project, which was the key to the success of this Digitization initiative.”

Maggie Wan, Technical Head – BMO Bank of Montreal

“My experience working with Abe, both here at Chase and at MBNA/BAC has been very positive.  Abe is very focused on finding and creating solutions that dramatically improves the efficiency of the impacted departments.  Abe communicates very well, and can tailor his communication based on his audience i.e. analytical vs non-analytical.  Some of the character traits that I would use to describe Abe would be the following:

  • Efficient
  • Analytical
  • Effective communicator
  • Has the ability to get it done
  • Can-do attitude
  • Hard working
  • Positive attitude

Abe is very approachable and has been flexible with his time to meet with Fraud Operations to discuss our scheduling challenges and work with his team to solve them.”

Joedy Tapp, Fraud Operations Team Lead – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“I have worked with Abe during eForms/eSignature initiative. Although he is an outstanding product owner, his technical skills and appreciation to technology are excellent. As part of eForms COE, he formed a technology team (consists of business analysts and developers). He interviewed and selected those talents in technology area for this eForms COE. Abe aspires to develop components that are reusable across the organization. An example of this is that he along with the technology team came up with idea of developing one application to handle anything & everything around Documentation such as sharing, scanning, eSignature etc. Further Abe has good vendor management skills. He has been working with GMC and Silanis technology companies on negotiating and building features as part of the EFES projects.

I personally support cross skills movement from Technology to Business and Business to Technology. This helps the organization with diversity of skills. Abe’s experience and mindset will be assets to the Technology organization.”

Kajan Balasundaram, Director/Sr. Technology Officer – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I have attended with Abe requirement sessions, troubleshooting and design discussion sessions some of them related to complicated technology matters like printing protocols having issues, as well as side discussions about matters like services orchestrations and timing … for more than a year.

We, in technology, often agreed (and this came often in our side conversations) that Abe is savvy when it comes to technical matters. Yet none had suggested knowing the reason ….. I see Abe as having the courage to contribute to leading the change of culture that is needed for the IT transformation in BMO. I have seen Abe much more capable of taking calculated, careful risks, and daring to do what it takes to succeed. Abe was surely much more courageous in making calculated risk in BMO’s very risk aversive culture, which desperately needs to change (not to a risky, but to an automated, Agile and responsive one!). His opinions often sounded assuring to others.… I also see Abe capable of inspiring a more flat team (something that is extensively needed for Agile transformation) and BMO needs.

Abe is clearly curious and passionate about “good design” and good technology … that, everyone agrees on!… Abe has very good analytical sense and imagination, and is capable of better reasoning …On top of the above, I would wish Abe success in BMO … he’s been appreciated by all!”

Ferris Mendwi, Sr. Application Software Developer – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I think your knowledge and experience in seeing how the Business has operated will see you well in Technology as it will give you a holistic view on how the entire process operates. Your passion, dedication and drive towards your work and relationship management dealing with Business and Technology will definitely help you as you pursue greater career goals on the Technology side…”

Mohsen Azizi, Software Development Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“In December of 2006 I became responsible for business continuity; unfortunately I was housed in the CCO, that’s when I met Abe. My role in BC caused me to work many office hours. As I did, I watched, as Abe would put in extra time developing software solutions for other business areas. As I worked beside Abe, I watched him grow in his role. He became the manager of Customer Experience and delivered a fine program to us all.

I watched the economy take a down turn and I watched Abe lose his entire department and staff, he absorbed it with dignity and professionalism. I never once heard him say a disparaging word about his employer. He moved on and rebuilt, became a people manager again, displayed the same passion for the job and the people.

Abe is a people person and one who has the skills to manage efforts, he exhibits a passion for service. I believe that Abe is able to lead Customer Service to a new level, he never tires and I bet I will see him at work on the floor in off hours.”

Don McCrae, Business Continuity Consultant – Bank of America

“Your progressive Can-Do attitude, blue sky thinking and ability to grasp complex technical concepts are exactly what we need in technology. I believe that with your understanding of the business side and needs, you are in a great position to be able to bridge the divide that currently exists between Technology and Business.”

Peter Chub, Project Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe, I very much appreciate your leadership style and the fundamental changes and improvement that you have already introduced to our team. They are essential, in particular:
The structure you have started to develop and establish for our team, such as the Project and Tasks List with logical flow and type of information. You quickly recognized the need to have a register to more accurately describe the details of our work assignment and progress.

  • The expectation you have set, such as for the Team To-Do List to ensure it highlights the priority of current commitments.
  • The details that you expect for our performance evaluations will enable us to capture our goals and accomplishment as well as our actions for Being BMO.
  • The Goal Setting Workshop you had led helped us clearly understand what is required and made logical sense without ambiguity.
  • Your support and commitment to recognize our work and work efforts with no surprises at performance discussions.
  • The opportunity for regular one-on-one meetings to review progress, and ensure on track for year-end.
  • Your commitment to help with our career development goals.

Your enthusiasm is motivating! These changes and improvement will transparently communicate the work, expectation and the results.

That is very positive. Thank you!”

Joy Ahong, Sr. Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is focused, goal oriented and has a real passion for leading his team to successfully deliver on our F’15 initiatives. He has clearly demonstrated the importance of goal setting and has held presentations with the entire BP&I team so we clearly understand the process and get it right and be recognized for our accomplishments and the value we bring into our overall work. This is a true example of how he exemplifies our one bank, one team approach. He brings a fresh branch perspective into the team and I welcome his wonderful energy and positive demeanor.”

Cherrie Tan, Sr. Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe for the short period that you have been our “fearless” leader, you have certainly changed the dynamic of our team, brining structure, transparency and a new vibe. Your ideas for inclusion and transparency are easy to implement, for example leveraging and promoting the use of the SharePoint site as a focal point to allocate our projects/Tasks. This provides a one stop feature that makes it simple to see who is doing what and who can help out if a situation arises.

Our team meetings are engaging and informative. You demonstrate the personable skills a manager requires, you’re open, you’re easy to talk to and you make yourself available for “ad-hoc” drop in questions and certainly demonstrate the “open door” policy. You also share best practices especially around the Performance Planning and Assessment (PPA) process – that was very important as I’ve never attended a session with such thought and openness on how to structure a PPA and what to include.”

Anita Pereira, Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe, in the little time that I have known you, you have displayed great enthusiasm and initiative by leading our team (and all of Business Process and Integration) through the Performance Planning and Assessment Goal setting work. I can honestly say that in my 15 years at the bank, you have provided the most direction and standardization I have ever received in this area. The guide and worksheet you have created and your step by step direction has made completing the goals straightforward and easy. Thanks for all the leadership in this area.”

Yuk-Fan Cho, Sr. Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Since Abe has been with the company, I have seen a great difference in the Operations of WFM within the Ottawa site. They seems to understand the nature of the Operation side of business now and are more empathetic to our needs. He has not only helped his team develop skills but has also helped the management team with their analytical skills.

My experience with WFM in the past has not always been the greatest when it comes to their approach in handling difficult decision and being able to make executive decision however, in the past year or so, we have all seen a difference in their overall approach.

Abe was quick to realize that there were several issues within the team that needed to be fixed. He set up meetings with the management team to start fixing what needed to be. He is open to ideas and suggestions and is quick to implement.”

Crystal Millette, CMS Team Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“In the short time that Abe has been with the company, he has displayed tremendous energy in improving our processes in a sustainable manner which will support ongoing growth. The wealth of knowledge in analytics and reporting that Abe provides has been a great asset not only to my line of business, but to the company as a whole, and has tremendously improved synergy site-wide. He also brings a “fresh” perspective having recently joined the company, and does not shy away from adding to his already exhaustive list of on-going projects if required. I have actively participated in several projects with Abe and his excellent organizational skills are also evident.

From a personal standpoint, my interactions with Abe have always been extremely pleasant; a courteous, composed and respectful individual who is always first to help when needed. It is an admirable trait to maintain a smile and a positive attitude in such a results-driven, deadline-oriented environment. I look forward to working with him going forward and would recommend him for the role of Senior Business Operations Manager. His business acumen, relentless drive, and approachable nature will prove to be a greater asset to Chase Card Services as a whole.”

Marc El-Khoury, CCD Team Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Abe has a great passion for technology and a desire to come up with new and efficient ways of delivering projects. Throughout the EFES project Abe was engaged directly with many technology teams. He shows a strong understanding of the applications and how they tied in with one another. He was an active participant in suggesting solutions to address technical roadblocks that occurred. Abe’s product knowledge and business strengths combined with his technical knowledge are very beneficial.”

Daisy Benipal, Senior Technology Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Strong motivator – It is clear Abe has a strong sense of when and how to motivate Associates.

Work Ethic – Abe’s work ethic is matched by few as is his desire to assist others regardless of his own work load.

Knowledge Base – Abe has knowledge base from both a technical and Customer perspective, something that is not very common within most departments.

There are not many who cannot learn something from Abe and in conjunction with that he is always more than willing to move those forward who are willing and ready to learn more.”

Gary Robertson, Operations Manager – Bank of America

“As Branch Manager with the Ottawa Centre team, Abe added a new and dynamic addition to the team as both a passionate and knowledgeable. Many new ideas were brought to Ottawa Centre that led to increased results and better tracking tools.”

Sandra Sorrenti, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I will describe Abe as a hard worker. He is not afraid of challenge; in fact this is what he needs to keep himself interested. He is a passionate in general and likes to be intellectually busy. In a group of people, Abe will not be the quiet one; he is more the “active” participant at the table that will bring new ideas, share experiences, opinions or spreadsheets! Also Abe is receptive to others suggestions and ideas. He is always available if someone needs help. He will also recognize when good work has been done. I really enjoyed working with Abe.”

Julie Gaudreault, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I have always found Abe to be an excellent collaborator, who is full of ideas on how to make us better at our jobs, which is very admirable.”

David Christie, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe was always there to help when needed. He thinks outside the box and helped the team come up with different ways of tracking to know where the team was vs. target so we could identify any gaps that needed to be addressed earlier rather than later. Abe always speaks up and is not afraid of asking questions when needed.”

Christine Alexandra Simpson, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is an individual with great amount of energy. He is able to provide visions and motive people around him.

Within months of his current role I saw improvements done on several processes of different functions within or related to the department that he managed.

He is also a unique gem within the management team that has a solid technical background that can be very handy when dealing with different data sources in an interdepartmental setting.

More importantly, he is also selflessly willing to share his expertise with those in need to achieve the common corporate goal.”

Andy Kuo, Senior Business Analyst JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Abe has an extensive knowledge of the digital tools at our disposal, their cogs and their limitations too. He knows how to leverage each of these technological tools and how to extend their usefulness to different projects. Dynamic and action driven, with his solid business background and experience, with his strategic vision and with his great communications skills, Abe brings a unique combination of leadership, innovation and execution.”

Sebastien Cousineau, Sr. Consultant (eForms/eSignature COE) – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is one of the hardest working team-mates I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He is extremely focused on driving results for the business and always looks for innovative ways to improve the department to ensure processes are done more efficiently through the use of his vast knowledge and experience.

Personally for me though, Abe’s greatest asset is his personality. He is enthusiastic, positive and willing to help his team-mates every day that he comes into the office, going above and beyond to ensure he drives his team to excel. He is a true leader!”

Julie Deslisle-Marier, Technical Delivery Manager – Bank of America

“Although I am very new to the Business Analytic and Reporting Team, over the past few months I have had a chance to interact and work with Abe Karar. From the interactions I have had, he has a great understanding of the business, reporting, and analytics. He has shown me different ways to look at reporting, seeming always to have fresh new ideas.

One observation I can make; Abe is always willing to take the time to educate his people as well as others. He is driven to make the business better not always waiting for something to go wrong, he seems very proactive in trying to build on what we have today and making it much better.

He has a wealth of knowledge and a clear passion for business. Abe would be a perfect candidate for the Senior Business Operations Manager.”

Kevin Gallien, Business Analyst – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Abe in a few capacities surrounding reporting and all of them have been excellent. I have found Abe’s ability to work through issues and present solutions superior.

He has a very strong technical background but his ability to communicate and work with individuals is just as strong. He truly does put the customer’s needs (external and internal) at the forefront of his thinking. I look forward to working with Abe in the Future.”

Ben Adam, Customer Assistance Operational Risk Officer – Bank of America

“While working with Abe over the past couple of years, I’ve been very impressed with his knowledge in terms of system programs, database management, reporting and analytics. Every interaction I have with Abe has been very positive and he always speaks with logic when faced with a challenge of any sort.

Abe is also a very pleasant person and is always willing to help no matter what. In my opinion these are key features a leader must demonstrate to be successful.”

Michel Prudhomme, Business Process Team Lead – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Although my interactions with Abe have been limited, throughout my experience working with him he has demonstrated a strong work ethic and desire to assist in all situations, even when outside of his scope of responsibilities. Abe possesses excellent analytical and communication skills which allow him, on an ongoing basis, to effectively collaborate across functions and support groups.”

Josianne Gignac, Regional Training Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“I have worked with Abe on numerous projects, issues and reports while in his many positions throughout the bank. In summary, Abe has always been a pleasure to work with, delivering every time a consistently high level of service. His work is always well researched, covering all anticipated questions in an understandable format.

Abe is always eager to find solutions and quick to offer us his Point of View. He always has positive attitude and fosters a friendly/comfortable atmosphere. His technical abilities and understanding of the bank’s operations make him an asset to any department he works for.

While in my current role within ORM Abe has been, and continues to be, instrumental in my understanding of the systems side of AML. He always makes time to walk me through system processes also inviting me to his team learning sessions. I look forward to working with Abe on implementing controls within the AML process this year.”

Nadia Leveque, Operational Risk Officer – Bank of America

“During the time we have been working together I have found him to be a very supportive manager. He has demonstrated that he is open-minded and willing to consider different approaches.

He has also shown himself able to manage multiple projects within tight deadlines and has excellent time management and organization skills.

He has the ability to organize his workload in the presence of frequent interruptions. I have also found him to have a high degree of analytical and critical thinking skills.”

Christian Huneault, Senior Business Analyst – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“It has been a pleasure working with you over the past year. I wanted to take a minute to thank you for all the amazing tools you built, sharing these with our team (teaching us how to use them) to help us all be more successful. This really shows your commitment to our team’s success. I will continue to use the trackers and the data mining tools going forward, thanks again!”

Melonie Schroeder, Branch Manager – Bank of Montreal

Experience  Download Resume

ALCHEMY Digital Solutions – Founder, Digital Transformation Consultant

2016 – Present

Consulting for large Financial Institutions and leading key transformational initiatives by developing a ‘Digital Strategy’ with a clear exhaustive roadmap of digital capabilities, dependencies, sustainment and expected ROI; Developing and managing Business Case analysis for enterprise Digitization programs; Implementing new Digital Capabilities to deliver increased capacity, improved customer/employee experience, cost reduction and heightened regulatory compliance; Designing and deploying technology solutions based on modern service-oriented architecture, delivering high reusability and enterprise scalability; Establishing enterprise Centers of Excellence for sustained support and governance; Delivering workshops and seminars on Digital Transformation, Agile Delivery and FinTech; Board advisory for FinTech Galaxy

[dvresume title="Deloitte Middle East – Senior Manager, Financial Services" subtitle="2019"]

Provided management consulting services with specific focus on Open Banking, Digital Transformation and FinTech; Supported the Launch of Deloitte Digital Delivery Center in Riyadh; Run seminars and workshops on Digital and FinTech ecosystem development; Supported business development activities and successfully closing sales deals with large clients.

[dvresume title="FINZO, Arab Financial Services (AFS) – Head of Digital Banking" subtitle=" 2019"]

Led the Digital Banking/FinTech business, driving its growth plan and strategic initiatives, while owning and maintaining P&L; Conducted business development activities across various offerings, including Digital Banking, Payments and Alternate Banking delivery channels; Supported the development of the FinTech ecosystem landscape in the region; Established and managed vendor and client relationships; Developed business plans and adoption strategies for the Digital Banking agenda, tailored across various target markets in the region; Supported implementation of governance and due-diligence frameworks for both internal organizational processes and external market practices.

First Abu Dhabi Bank – AVP, Digital Banking Platform Owner

2017 – 2018

Helmed digital strategy and roadmap for FAB’s Digital Banking platform; Led cross-functional workshops with the Business, Creative, Marketing and Product teams to launch and perpetuate the bank’s first true digital offering in the KSA; Adapted Service-Design principles for the design and build of best-in-class user experiences and customer journeys across digital channels; Developed KPIs/KRIs tracking and reporting for performance management and regulatory compliance; Engaged with partners in the FinTech ecosystem to introduce innovative digital propositions with direct integration to the Digital Banking platform; Supported the SAMA Sandbox process for obtaining the required banking license.

University of Ottawa – Seasonal Professor, Master of Business Administration (Professional Program)

2014 – 2017

Delivered graduate level lectures and seminars on Corporate Performance Management, Economics, Business Analytics and Leadership; Applied creative and engaging pedagogical techniques that enhance learning experience and augment students’ understanding of the business concepts, while connecting with real-life challenges.

BMO Bank of Montreal –Director, Business Process and Digitization, Personal & Commercial Banking

2013 – 2017

Orchestrated implementation of enterprise digital transformation initiatives, including deployment of new eForms/eSignature digital capabilities, driving the organization’s evolution to a leading digital bank, while ensuring alignment and compliance with regulatory requirements; Oversaw Change Management and Training activities across functional areas throughout the rollout of new business processes and technology tools; Developed and managed financial model and business case analysis for large-scale enterprise digitization program (+$200MM); Deployed enhanced policies, procedures and control frameworks to support and facilitate adoption across front and back office; Established and led the Enterprise Center of Excellence (ECOE); Completed assignment as “Branch Manager” in retail bank branch with high-complexity book of business, thus acquiring expansive knowledge of systems, processes, gaps and opportunities for digitization.n.

JPMorgan Chase Bank – Business Analysis Manager

2010 – 2013

Oversaw strategic and operational reporting/analytics functions across Chase Card Services; Developed and deployed robust performance management, process improvement and risk control frameworks; Provided highly sought strategic direction based on business complex business analysis, planning, forecasting, and key performance reporting to optimize resource allocation, reduce operational costs, mitigate risks and enhance customer experience.

Bank of America, MBNA – AVP, Risk Management /AML Operations/ Business Analytics Manager

2005 – 2010

Delivered key enterprise initiatives, including revamping the AML/ KYC processes, enhanced performance scorecards, heightened credit risk strategies, and improved employee/client engagement; Designed and deployed new technology solutions that delivered high-impact value and resolved complex business problems; increasing client NPS, enhancing client retention rates and mitigating operational, regulatory and credit risks.

EDUCATION AND ACCREDITATIONS
Yellow Belt Lean Six Sigma
Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa; Ottawa, Canada
2015

Investment Funds in Canada – Banking and Financial Support Services
Canadian Securities Institute
2015

Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa; Ottawa, Canada
2014

Bachelor of Science, Mathematics – Specialization in Applied Analysis
Carleton University; Ottawa, Canada
2011

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

FinX – FinTech Evolution – by FinTech Galaxy
Dubai, UAE
2019

Evolution of Digital Banking – by ICAI
Dubai, UAE
2019

Digital Transformation in Banking – by American Banker
Webcast
2018

Digital Banking Conference – by American Banker
Austin, Texas
2017

Digital Banking Summit invited – by VASCO
Tokyo, Japan
2017

INSPIRE DAYS – by Quadient
Orlando, Florida
2016

eSignLive Conference – by Silanis
New York City, New York
2015

HONORS AND AWARDS
Gartner Award: Gartner Eye on Innovation, 2017

Celent Award: Model Bank Award, 2017

American Banker Interview: “If mobile banking is so easy, why is signing up so hard?”, 2017

Xplor Technology and Application Award: Application of the Year, 2017

TESTIMONIALS

“I have had the opportunity to work with Abe on various times during his career at Bank of America. During this time, I have witnessed his continuous growth in a number of areas extending from an exceptional commitment to individual and team goals, impeccable attention to detail, desire to always raise the bar and most recently, effectively managing the efforts of others.

While Abe has gone through these changes, the one constant has been that he pushes himself harder than any team mate can do. His contributions have been invaluable to many. His attitude is contagious. He is committed to his own work, while also regularly supporting others with their own goals. Abe is a true asset to the Bank of America and he has proven his ability to be successful across many roles. I wish him much luck in his endeavours”

Deb Blair, Senior Operations Manager – Bank of America

“I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Abe on the eForms/eSignature Project, a large Enterprise Transformation project at BMO. Abe has a strong ability to lead teams and deliver on significant project milestones on time, on budget and on schedule. Abe’s experience and analytical prowess enable him to identify and navigate around large program risks. He is very creative and open-minded when leading the team through planning possible options for the project.

One of the very impressive qualities I must mention about Abe is his passion for technology and his ability to adapt to new. Abe and I worked together to deliver a very advanced capture flow designed to help branch employees to scan and store the paper documents as fast as possible with very little errors. Abe continued to amaze me as well with his knowledge about e-signatures when we had various discussions with business and vendors. He is very knowledgeable on this topic and he provided very valuable input about the way to use it in combination with the tablets and/or desktops to offer our customers the best experience.

Abe’s personal qualities also served him well professionally: his exceptional calm and a steady judgement come through consistently throughout the project. Not only is he always positive and constructive, ready to address the situation hands-on, but also managed to transmit these qualities to team members and their interactions.

Abe’s strong communication skills enable his to facilitate the program governance process with Executive Management.”

Cristina Busuioc, Senior Technology Officer – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is one of the most professional, knowledgeable and thoughtful people that I have worked with on the eForms/eSignature project under the Digitization program. He shows great passion designing, developing and implementing optimized technology solutions for complex problems. He is the “Go To” person in the Digitization space for his knowledge of the digital capabilities, his understanding of the issues, his original creative ideas and his thorough execution.

Working with Abe on various aspects of eForms/eSignature, I’ve found him intellectual, organized, creative and dedicated. He has broad experience and knowledge, and works very well with diverse groups of people. He can be counted on to plan carefully and thoroughly, to mobilize the needed resources, to motivate stakeholders, and to make sure things get done in a timely manner with great results. He worked effectively with the Digitization team as well as other major internal partners and external vendors to ensure that the overall solution was delivered, meeting the needs of current digital world and enhancing customer and employee experience.

Abe is one of the best colleagues that I have worked with and have enjoyed all of our encounters, and I recommend him very highly!”

Varun Trivedi, Digitization Business Analyst – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe and I collaborate frequently as colleagues and his experience and significant technical capabilities are not only valuable to my servicing areas but to the entire line of business as well. Under his leadership, the Workforce Management team addresses all matters regarding capacity planning, strategic budgeting and resource allocation. Equally unique to his skill set is his ability to leverage his extensive problem solving skills towards resolving complex reporting and staffing issues that arise within our environment.

On a personal note, Abe is well perceived by his peers and senior leadership team for his interpersonal skills and his genuine desire to foster an environment that is conducive to collaboration and productive working relationships at all levels of the organization. His ability to multi-task his career workload coupled with a demanding Mathematics Applied Analysis degree is a clear reflection of his discipline towards achieving his goals, strong organizational skills and work ethic.”

Giovani Bazile, Service Operations Team Lead – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Abe has been an integral part in developing core processes and infrastructure on the team to ensure that the day to day functions are being executed more efficiently in order to free up additional time for the team to complete other things. There are a number of key accomplishments including development of a scheduling “software” to execute schedules outside of the limited EWFM tool, launch of SharePoint, the flex scheduler as well as a number of “high priority” assignments outside of the scope of WFM (i.e. AML remediation).

Abe has also made significant strides in the training and development of his staff, while also hosting “lunch and learn” type sessions for the team managers at the sites. This has assisted in expanding the knowledge base and cross-functional expertise of his team. Some progress has been made with the managers within WFM – they have improved their leadership and performance management skills.”

Tara Shea, Senior Business Operations Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“It has been a great experience to work with a passionate business partner like Abe through the eForms/eSignatures project in the past year. Abe has been a champion for the business, trying to leverage the technology to the fullest to transform and simplify the business processes.

Abe’s technical acumen is beyond a normal business lead, he constantly tried to push the envelope forward by supporting technology innovation efforts. He built a GMC COE team on business side to execute form template design – a technical function that integrated seamlessly with business function. He worked closely with technology partners throughout the project, he always took a great interest in the technical solution in more details, and was able to understand and articulate the E2E solution in the business context. He has been a great support and effective liaison between Business and Technology on the eForms/eSignature project, which was the key to the success of this Digitization initiative.”

Maggie Wan, Technical Head – BMO Bank of Montreal

“My experience working with Abe, both here at Chase and at MBNA/BAC has been very positive.  Abe is very focused on finding and creating solutions that dramatically improves the efficiency of the impacted departments.  Abe communicates very well, and can tailor his communication based on his audience i.e. analytical vs non-analytical.  Some of the character traits that I would use to describe Abe would be the following:

  • Efficient
  • Analytical
  • Effective communicator
  • Has the ability to get it done
  • Can-do attitude
  • Hard working
  • Positive attitude

Abe is very approachable and has been flexible with his time to meet with Fraud Operations to discuss our scheduling challenges and work with his team to solve them.”

Joedy Tapp, Fraud Operations Team Lead – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“I have worked with Abe during eForms/eSignature initiative. Although he is an outstanding product owner, his technical skills and appreciation to technology are excellent. As part of eForms COE, he formed a technology team (consists of business analysts and developers). He interviewed and selected those talents in technology area for this eForms COE. Abe aspires to develop components that are reusable across the organization. An example of this is that he along with the technology team came up with idea of developing one application to handle anything & everything around Documentation such as sharing, scanning, eSignature etc. Further Abe has good vendor management skills. He has been working with GMC and Silanis technology companies on negotiating and building features as part of the EFES projects.

I personally support cross skills movement from Technology to Business and Business to Technology. This helps the organization with diversity of skills. Abe’s experience and mindset will be assets to the Technology organization.”

Kajan Balasundaram, Director/Sr. Technology Officer – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I have attended with Abe requirement sessions, troubleshooting and design discussion sessions some of them related to complicated technology matters like printing protocols having issues, as well as side discussions about matters like services orchestrations and timing … for more than a year.

We, in technology, often agreed (and this came often in our side conversations) that Abe is savvy when it comes to technical matters. Yet none had suggested knowing the reason ….. I see Abe as having the courage to contribute to leading the change of culture that is needed for the IT transformation in BMO. I have seen Abe much more capable of taking calculated, careful risks, and daring to do what it takes to succeed. Abe was surely much more courageous in making calculated risk in BMO’s very risk aversive culture, which desperately needs to change (not to a risky, but to an automated, Agile and responsive one!). His opinions often sounded assuring to others.… I also see Abe capable of inspiring a more flat team (something that is extensively needed for Agile transformation) and BMO needs.

Abe is clearly curious and passionate about “good design” and good technology … that, everyone agrees on!… Abe has very good analytical sense and imagination, and is capable of better reasoning …On top of the above, I would wish Abe success in BMO … he’s been appreciated by all!”

Ferris Mendwi, Sr. Application Software Developer – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I think your knowledge and experience in seeing how the Business has operated will see you well in Technology as it will give you a holistic view on how the entire process operates. Your passion, dedication and drive towards your work and relationship management dealing with Business and Technology will definitely help you as you pursue greater career goals on the Technology side…”

Mohsen Azizi, Software Development Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“In December of 2006 I became responsible for business continuity; unfortunately I was housed in the CCO, that’s when I met Abe. My role in BC caused me to work many office hours. As I did, I watched, as Abe would put in extra time developing software solutions for other business areas. As I worked beside Abe, I watched him grow in his role. He became the manager of Customer Experience and delivered a fine program to us all.

I watched the economy take a down turn and I watched Abe lose his entire department and staff, he absorbed it with dignity and professionalism. I never once heard him say a disparaging word about his employer. He moved on and rebuilt, became a people manager again, displayed the same passion for the job and the people.

Abe is a people person and one who has the skills to manage efforts, he exhibits a passion for service. I believe that Abe is able to lead Customer Service to a new level, he never tires and I bet I will see him at work on the floor in off hours.”

Don McCrae, Business Continuity Consultant – Bank of America

“Your progressive Can-Do attitude, blue sky thinking and ability to grasp complex technical concepts are exactly what we need in technology. I believe that with your understanding of the business side and needs, you are in a great position to be able to bridge the divide that currently exists between Technology and Business.”

Peter Chub, Project Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe, I very much appreciate your leadership style and the fundamental changes and improvement that you have already introduced to our team. They are essential, in particular:
The structure you have started to develop and establish for our team, such as the Project and Tasks List with logical flow and type of information. You quickly recognized the need to have a register to more accurately describe the details of our work assignment and progress.

  • The expectation you have set, such as for the Team To-Do List to ensure it highlights the priority of current commitments.
  • The details that you expect for our performance evaluations will enable us to capture our goals and accomplishment as well as our actions for Being BMO.
  • The Goal Setting Workshop you had led helped us clearly understand what is required and made logical sense without ambiguity.
  • Your support and commitment to recognize our work and work efforts with no surprises at performance discussions.
  • The opportunity for regular one-on-one meetings to review progress, and ensure on track for year-end.
  • Your commitment to help with our career development goals.

Your enthusiasm is motivating! These changes and improvement will transparently communicate the work, expectation and the results.

That is very positive. Thank you!”

Joy Ahong, Sr. Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is focused, goal oriented and has a real passion for leading his team to successfully deliver on our F’15 initiatives. He has clearly demonstrated the importance of goal setting and has held presentations with the entire BP&I team so we clearly understand the process and get it right and be recognized for our accomplishments and the value we bring into our overall work. This is a true example of how he exemplifies our one bank, one team approach. He brings a fresh branch perspective into the team and I welcome his wonderful energy and positive demeanor.”

Cherrie Tan, Sr. Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe for the short period that you have been our “fearless” leader, you have certainly changed the dynamic of our team, brining structure, transparency and a new vibe. Your ideas for inclusion and transparency are easy to implement, for example leveraging and promoting the use of the SharePoint site as a focal point to allocate our projects/Tasks. This provides a one stop feature that makes it simple to see who is doing what and who can help out if a situation arises.

Our team meetings are engaging and informative. You demonstrate the personable skills a manager requires, you’re open, you’re easy to talk to and you make yourself available for “ad-hoc” drop in questions and certainly demonstrate the “open door” policy. You also share best practices especially around the Performance Planning and Assessment (PPA) process – that was very important as I’ve never attended a session with such thought and openness on how to structure a PPA and what to include.”

Anita Pereira, Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe, in the little time that I have known you, you have displayed great enthusiasm and initiative by leading our team (and all of Business Process and Integration) through the Performance Planning and Assessment Goal setting work. I can honestly say that in my 15 years at the bank, you have provided the most direction and standardization I have ever received in this area. The guide and worksheet you have created and your step by step direction has made completing the goals straightforward and easy. Thanks for all the leadership in this area.”

Yuk-Fan Cho, Sr. Business Process Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Since Abe has been with the company, I have seen a great difference in the Operations of WFM within the Ottawa site. They seems to understand the nature of the Operation side of business now and are more empathetic to our needs. He has not only helped his team develop skills but has also helped the management team with their analytical skills.

My experience with WFM in the past has not always been the greatest when it comes to their approach in handling difficult decision and being able to make executive decision however, in the past year or so, we have all seen a difference in their overall approach.

Abe was quick to realize that there were several issues within the team that needed to be fixed. He set up meetings with the management team to start fixing what needed to be. He is open to ideas and suggestions and is quick to implement.”

Crystal Millette, CMS Team Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“In the short time that Abe has been with the company, he has displayed tremendous energy in improving our processes in a sustainable manner which will support ongoing growth. The wealth of knowledge in analytics and reporting that Abe provides has been a great asset not only to my line of business, but to the company as a whole, and has tremendously improved synergy site-wide. He also brings a “fresh” perspective having recently joined the company, and does not shy away from adding to his already exhaustive list of on-going projects if required. I have actively participated in several projects with Abe and his excellent organizational skills are also evident.

From a personal standpoint, my interactions with Abe have always been extremely pleasant; a courteous, composed and respectful individual who is always first to help when needed. It is an admirable trait to maintain a smile and a positive attitude in such a results-driven, deadline-oriented environment. I look forward to working with him going forward and would recommend him for the role of Senior Business Operations Manager. His business acumen, relentless drive, and approachable nature will prove to be a greater asset to Chase Card Services as a whole.”

Marc El-Khoury, CCD Team Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Abe has a great passion for technology and a desire to come up with new and efficient ways of delivering projects. Throughout the EFES project Abe was engaged directly with many technology teams. He shows a strong understanding of the applications and how they tied in with one another. He was an active participant in suggesting solutions to address technical roadblocks that occurred. Abe’s product knowledge and business strengths combined with his technical knowledge are very beneficial.”

Daisy Benipal, Senior Technology Consultant – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Strong motivator – It is clear Abe has a strong sense of when and how to motivate Associates.

Work Ethic – Abe’s work ethic is matched by few as is his desire to assist others regardless of his own work load.

Knowledge Base – Abe has knowledge base from both a technical and Customer perspective, something that is not very common within most departments.

There are not many who cannot learn something from Abe and in conjunction with that he is always more than willing to move those forward who are willing and ready to learn more.”

Gary Robertson, Operations Manager – Bank of America

“As Branch Manager with the Ottawa Centre team, Abe added a new and dynamic addition to the team as both a passionate and knowledgeable. Many new ideas were brought to Ottawa Centre that led to increased results and better tracking tools.”

Sandra Sorrenti, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I will describe Abe as a hard worker. He is not afraid of challenge; in fact this is what he needs to keep himself interested. He is a passionate in general and likes to be intellectually busy. In a group of people, Abe will not be the quiet one; he is more the “active” participant at the table that will bring new ideas, share experiences, opinions or spreadsheets! Also Abe is receptive to others suggestions and ideas. He is always available if someone needs help. He will also recognize when good work has been done. I really enjoyed working with Abe.”

Julie Gaudreault, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“I have always found Abe to be an excellent collaborator, who is full of ideas on how to make us better at our jobs, which is very admirable.”

David Christie, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe was always there to help when needed. He thinks outside the box and helped the team come up with different ways of tracking to know where the team was vs. target so we could identify any gaps that needed to be addressed earlier rather than later. Abe always speaks up and is not afraid of asking questions when needed.”

Christine Alexandra Simpson, Branch Manager – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is an individual with great amount of energy. He is able to provide visions and motive people around him.

Within months of his current role I saw improvements done on several processes of different functions within or related to the department that he managed.

He is also a unique gem within the management team that has a solid technical background that can be very handy when dealing with different data sources in an interdepartmental setting.

More importantly, he is also selflessly willing to share his expertise with those in need to achieve the common corporate goal.”

Andy Kuo, Senior Business Analyst JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Abe has an extensive knowledge of the digital tools at our disposal, their cogs and their limitations too. He knows how to leverage each of these technological tools and how to extend their usefulness to different projects. Dynamic and action driven, with his solid business background and experience, with his strategic vision and with his great communications skills, Abe brings a unique combination of leadership, innovation and execution.”

Sebastien Cousineau, Sr. Consultant (eForms/eSignature COE) – BMO Bank of Montreal

“Abe is one of the hardest working team-mates I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He is extremely focused on driving results for the business and always looks for innovative ways to improve the department to ensure processes are done more efficiently through the use of his vast knowledge and experience.

Personally for me though, Abe’s greatest asset is his personality. He is enthusiastic, positive and willing to help his team-mates every day that he comes into the office, going above and beyond to ensure he drives his team to excel. He is a true leader!”

Julie Deslisle-Marier, Technical Delivery Manager – Bank of America

“Although I am very new to the Business Analytic and Reporting Team, over the past few months I have had a chance to interact and work with Abe Karar. From the interactions I have had, he has a great understanding of the business, reporting, and analytics. He has shown me different ways to look at reporting, seeming always to have fresh new ideas.

One observation I can make; Abe is always willing to take the time to educate his people as well as others. He is driven to make the business better not always waiting for something to go wrong, he seems very proactive in trying to build on what we have today and making it much better.

He has a wealth of knowledge and a clear passion for business. Abe would be a perfect candidate for the Senior Business Operations Manager.”

Kevin Gallien, Business Analyst – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Abe in a few capacities surrounding reporting and all of them have been excellent. I have found Abe’s ability to work through issues and present solutions superior.

He has a very strong technical background but his ability to communicate and work with individuals is just as strong. He truly does put the customer’s needs (external and internal) at the forefront of his thinking. I look forward to working with Abe in the Future.”

Ben Adam, Customer Assistance Operational Risk Officer – Bank of America

“While working with Abe over the past couple of years, I’ve been very impressed with his knowledge in terms of system programs, database management, reporting and analytics. Every interaction I have with Abe has been very positive and he always speaks with logic when faced with a challenge of any sort.

Abe is also a very pleasant person and is always willing to help no matter what. In my opinion these are key features a leader must demonstrate to be successful.”

Michel Prudhomme, Business Process Team Lead – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“Although my interactions with Abe have been limited, throughout my experience working with him he has demonstrated a strong work ethic and desire to assist in all situations, even when outside of his scope of responsibilities. Abe possesses excellent analytical and communication skills which allow him, on an ongoing basis, to effectively collaborate across functions and support groups.”

Josianne Gignac, Regional Training Manager – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“I have worked with Abe on numerous projects, issues and reports while in his many positions throughout the bank. In summary, Abe has always been a pleasure to work with, delivering every time a consistently high level of service. His work is always well researched, covering all anticipated questions in an understandable format.

Abe is always eager to find solutions and quick to offer us his Point of View. He always has positive attitude and fosters a friendly/comfortable atmosphere. His technical abilities and understanding of the bank’s operations make him an asset to any department he works for.

While in my current role within ORM Abe has been, and continues to be, instrumental in my understanding of the systems side of AML. He always makes time to walk me through system processes also inviting me to his team learning sessions. I look forward to working with Abe on implementing controls within the AML process this year.”

Nadia Leveque, Operational Risk Officer – Bank of America

“During the time we have been working together I have found him to be a very supportive manager. He has demonstrated that he is open-minded and willing to consider different approaches.

He has also shown himself able to manage multiple projects within tight deadlines and has excellent time management and organization skills.

He has the ability to organize his workload in the presence of frequent interruptions. I have also found him to have a high degree of analytical and critical thinking skills.”

Christian Huneault, Senior Business Analyst – JPMorgan Chase Card Services

“It has been a pleasure working with you over the past year. I wanted to take a minute to thank you for all the amazing tools you built, sharing these with our team (teaching us how to use them) to help us all be more successful. This really shows your commitment to our team’s success. I will continue to use the trackers and the data mining tools going forward, thanks again!”

Melonie Schroeder, Branch Manager – Bank of Montreal

Contact Abe Karar