CATHERINE P. BESSANT is Global Technology & Operations executive at Bank of America and a member of the company’s executive management team.
Since 2010, Bessant has been responsible for delivering end-to-end technology and operating services across the company through a team of nearly 100,000 employees and contractors in 35 countries around the world.
Global Technology & Operations provides the platforms and fulfillment services that sustain the company’s consumer banking, wealth management, commercial banking, treasury services, sales and trading, and investment banking businesses – as well as risk management, finance and other critical support functions. Bessant’s team also oversees the company’s business continuity and information security strategies and policies.
In addition, Bessant chairs Bank of America’s Environmental Program, a position she has held since 2011. She oversees the company’s current 10-year, $50 billion environmental business initiative to help support clean energy and reduce demands on natural resources through lower-carbon lending, investment and financing solutions. She also oversees the company’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its own operation.
Bessant has held a number of senior leadership roles for the company. Most recently, she was president of Global Corporate Banking. Prior to that, she was president of Global Treasury Services and Global Product Solutions; chief marketing officer; president of Consumer Real Estate and Community Development Banking; National Small Business Segment executive; and president of Bank of America, Florida. She joined Bank of America as a corporate banker in Texas in 1982.
Bessant currently chairs the board of directors of Foundation For The Carolinas, one of the largest community foundations in the United States. She also is the lead director for Florida Blue, formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, and is a member of the board of trustees for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Named to American Banker’s “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking” list in 2013 for the third consecutive year, she was also honored as one of Computerworld’s “2013 Premier 100” IT leaders. Bessant was No. 4 on the 2013 Institutional Investor Tech 50 list of financial services leaders in technological achievement and innovation, and in 2011 was named “Best CIO” by Waters Technology at the American Financial Technology Awards.