Press Release

Bank of the West’s Kirsten Garen Named CIO of the Year
San Francisco, CA | Jun 20, 2014

Silicon Valley Business Journal & San Francisco Business Times Honor Top Bay Area Chief Information Officers

Bank of the West congratulates its Chief Information Officer Kirsten Garen, who was recognized last night by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and San Francisco Business Times as the 2014 Best Bay Area CIO in the innovation and transformation category. At Bank of the West, Garen has created a data culture within the bank and is modernizing infrastructure and platforms across the organization.  

Since joining Bank of the West as its chief information officer in 2011, Garen has expanded the bank's enterprise technology capabilities and currently leads a team that is nearly 500-strong and growing every day.  As a member of the bank's executive management committee, responsible for all aspects of information technology systems and governance across the bank, Garen is addressing the growing competitive challenges that come with ever-evolving technology and customer expectations. She also plays an instrumental role in end-customer services, including Bank of the West's integrated online investing and banking channels, commercial cash management, online chat and Quick Balance, which was the first mobile app of its kind in North America to enable users to view pre-login account balances directly on their devices.

"We know consumers and businesses are changing the ways they interact with financial institutions, and we are transforming how Bank of the West does business to stay ahead of these evolving preferences," said Michael Shepherd, chairman and CEO of Bank of the West. "Kirsten and her team are playing a central role in this transformation that is enabling Bank of the West to meet our customers' needs faster and in more creative ways."

Said Garen: "I am honored by the Business Journal and Business Times recognition. This goes beyond my work; rather, it's a testament to the hard work of my team and a spirit of collaboration that permeates the entire bank overall. And, to be included among such an incredible set of CIOs from across the Bay Area is very humbling."

Finalists were selected by a panel of judges through a nomination process. CIOs were nominated based on their use of IT in innovative ways to create a competitive advantage and optimize their business to help it grow.

Every year, the San Francisco Business Times, Silicon Valley Business Journal and PwC honor the best chief information officers in the Bay Area. Winners were announced at an awards dinner and reception on June 19 at the Sofitel Redwood Shores in Redwood City, Calif. The event brings together some of the most highly regarded businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area and recognizes the CIOs within these companies who are driving change through information technology and innovation.

"This recognition is well-deserved for Kirsten," said Mike Bracco, senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Bank of the West.  "She's been instrumental in the bank earning a reputation for being a great place to work, driving transformation throughout the organization and serving as a role model for collaboration, enabling us to bring our most innovative ideas to life quickly and efficiently."

About Bank of the West

Founded in 1874, $65 billion-asset Bank of the West (, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.

Corporate Headquarters

180 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104


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Legal information and Disclosures

* Including assets under supervision at BancWest Investment Services.

Securities and variable annuities are offered through BancWest Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker/dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Financial Advisors are registered representatives of BancWest Investment Services, Inc. Fixed annuities/insurance products are offered through BancWest Insurance Agency in California (License # 0C52321) and through BancWest Insurance Agency in Utah, and through BancWest Investment Services in AZ, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, WA, WI, WY, HI, GUAM and CNMI. Bank of the West and its various affiliates and subsidiaries are not tax or legal advisors.

Bank of the West Wealth Management provides financial products and services through Bank of the West and its various affiliates and subsidiaries.

BancWest Investment Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of the West and a part of the Wealth Management Group. BancWest Corporation is the holding company for Bank of the West. BancWest Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas.

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