Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Managing director, North American sales and relationship management at Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) Treasury Services.
Favorite Professors: Greg Gutman
Favorite Classes: Creative Problem Solving, Business Policy
Greatest personal/professional accomplishment: “It happens on a fairly routine basis now. I’m able to draw from some of the experiences I’ve had to guide and mentor the younger people who come into our industry. It’s fairly technical and you often have to learn it on the job. There have been individuals I’ve been able to see grow. That’s the most rewarding part about what I do.”
Advice for current students, or new graduates: “You need to think about what you are really passionate about and try to align yourself in your first positions with that in mind. Now, that first position may not be exactly what you’re passionate about, but it’s the road to get there. You also need to seek out the people in your network who can help you. And make sure you ask questions, take notes, and follow up.
“Every business requires the services we offer,” said Jeff Horowitz, M.B.A. ’86, managing director, North American sales and relationship management at Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) Treasury Services. “In this business though, it’s really about building relationships and developing trust.”
It is also critical in an academic setting for professors to build relationships and develop trust with their students. Among the many attributes of an Adelphi education that drew Horowitz to pursuing his M.B.A. at the University, was the interaction between the professors and students. “I liked how intimate and hands on the school was and how accessible the professors seemed to be,” he said. “While I was at Adelphi, if I ever had any questions, my professors were always there to help me. I also enjoyed the comforting and relaxed atmosphere on campus.”
Horowitz, an East Meadow native who had graduated from SUNY Cortland with his bachelor’s degree in education, enrolled in Adelphi’s M.B.A. program in 1983 after a year of working in Disney World as a part of the Walt Disney College Program. “Down there I learned all about client service and how successful companies, like Disney, operate,” he said. “But, I felt that it was time for me to return home to New York and pursue my M.B.A.”
Another one of the reasons Horowitz chose Adelphi was that the University offered him the opportunity to work on campus as the resident hall director of Chapman Hall. “Other than Disney, that was my first real professional job,” he said. “I had to hire resident assistants and work on a team with other resident directors. I got some great management experience and exposure to a real work environment.”
During his time at Adelphi, Horowitz spent his days working at Chapman Hall and his evenings in class. Among his favorite classes was Creative Problem Solving with Professor Greg Gutman. “He was a key mentor to everyone in the program,” said Horowitz who also enjoyed his Business Policy class. “We took it our last semester,” he said. “In that class you worked with a team to put together a company and you did simulations and competed against other teams’ companies. We had to put together business plans, marketing plans, figure out the finances, etc. I probably learned more in that class than I have in many of the classes I’ve taken out in the business world.”
In 1986, Horowitz’s final year at Adelphi, he received an offer from the University of Pittsburgh to become one of their resident directors aboard a ship as a part of the Semester at Sea program. The Semester at Sea program brings together students from colleges across the U.S. and takes them on a semester long voyage on a shipboard campus to up to ten of the world’s most fascinating countries where they study interdisciplinary coursework and receive hands-on field experience. “I was always very intrigued with international studies,” said Horowitz. “It was a great experience and my first exposure to anything truly international. It opened my eyes and mind up to what I could potentially do in business on an international scale. Not to mention, I love being out on the water and traveling.” Little did he know, that although he would visit ten countries as a member of the program’s staff (and ten more countries on a subsequent Semester at Sea voyage), it was just the beginning of a career that would take him on many travels across the world.
Upon returning to New York, Horowitz was hired by the Dreyfus Corporation, a mutual fund investment company that had an office in Garden City (serendipitously, the Dreyfus Corporation would later become a subsidiary of BNY Mellon, where Horowitz currently works). “They liked that I had a degree from Adelphi,” said Horowitz. “I think that helped me quite a bit.” Despite not having much experience in the financial industry, Horowitz was hired as a corporate trainer. In this role, he trained customer service and sales people on the various products their clients would use. After three years in this position, Horowitz decided that he wanted to move into a more expanded role.
He went to European American Bank (EAB) to work again as a corporate trainer. However, this time he was training the company’s employees on cash management; how money moves within a banking system. “It was pretty technical but I learned it,” he said. “I found that a lot of what I learned at Adelphi was very useful when I was a trainer and just entering the corporate world.”
Horowitz then moved into a more client facing role as a sales associate at EAB where he sold the company’s products and services to small and medium sized companies and financial institutions. A short time later, EAB was purchased by the global Dutch bank ABN AMRO who asked Horowitz to head up one of their European sales teams based in Amsterdam. “When I accepted the job, I was just about to get married,” he said. “So, I call that [time in Amsterdam] my honeymoon.”
After two years in Amsterdam, Horowitz returned to the U.S. and was offered the role of senior vice president at Standard Chartered Bank, a position that would require him travel back and forth between Asia and New York. “That was intriguing to me because I’d still have a base in New York but also get experience in emerging markets which I didn’t have at the time,” he said. “The only problem is you need to have a good balance between family life and work life. I had two young children at the time and going across the planet every few weeks did not work well for me or my family.”
In 2002, Horowitz decided to strike out on his own as an independent consultant helping banks and corporations with their cash management needs. “That worked pretty well. The only problem was there was even more travel involved,” he said. “And it’s tough, you have to be really passionate about it to be successful. So, although I enjoyed it, I didn’t have the long-term passion to build my own business.” In 2004, he decided to accept a position with the Bank of New York (BNY).
In his first role at the Bank of New York, his focus was on managing a team in selling BNY’s products and services to local small and medium sized companies. However, he was eventually asked to take on a team with a larger corporate book of business. “It was back on the road again,” he said. Since then, he has been the managing director, for North American sales and relationship management within the Treasury Services business at the Bank of New York Mellon (in 2007, The Bank of New York merged with Mellon Financial Corporation and became BNY Mellon).
Horowitz says that Adelphi gave him the tools he needed to succeed in his career. “At Adelphi, I learned how to ask questions,” he said. “I never felt afraid to ask my professors anything. And asking questions is really what makes a good business person. I spend a lot of my time asking questions because you’ll never learn anything if you don’t.”
Published December 2016