Lisa Dolly, BNY Mellon Pershing CEO.

In a surprise move, BNY Mellon Pershing CEO Lisa Dolly will step down as CEO on July 1, when COO Jim Crowley will take over. Dolly will serve as chairwoman of Pershing through Dec. 31 and represent the firm at industry events through year-end.

The news comes about a month before BNY Mellon Pershing hosts its popular Insite conference for advisors in Phoenix and about a week after Dolly was picked as one of Investment Advisor’s 25 industry VIPs of 2019.

“We respect Lisa’s desire to do something different after over 30 years at one firm, and we are grateful to her for her leadership and many contributions,” according to Todd Gibbons, vice chairman and CEO of Clearing, Markets and Client Management.  

“A Pershing veteran of more than 35 years, Jim brings to the role unrivaled knowledge of our clients, systems and operations. This is an exciting time for Pershing as the company continues its investment to accelerate growth in the wealth management and financial advisory industry,” Gibbons added.

During his career, Crowley has worked in different fields, including a role on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before working on marketing and business development. Before being tapped as COO about two years ago, Crowley served as Pershing’s Chief Relationship Officer. He joined the firm as a trainee in 1982.

Dolly began work at Pershing in 1988. She has been in CEO for about three years, after working as COO for about the same length of time.

“Lisa and Jim have worked closely together for several years in both running the firm and in setting the strategic direction. Given this history and partnership, our clients can expect a seamless transition between now and the end of the year,” explained Gibbons.

At last year’s Pershing Insite conference, Dolly highlighted several industry trends: “We should expect there will be much greater concentration of assets in fewer broker/dealers and RIAs.”

She also said that life management is more important than investment management. That is, investors want “holistic” advice, not just asset management.

In addition, the executive explained that advisors and firms that support them are not fully exploiting technology: “Our industry is lagging way behind” in the use of automation, robotics, self-service, artificial intelligence and biometrics.

Finally, Dolly pointed to an expected talent shortage in the advisory space. “We should expect labor costs to increase and a significant need for technology to solve that problem.”

As of March 31, BNY Mellon had $34.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.8 trillion in assets under management.