When the Wells Fargo-Wachovia merger becomes a case study on successful integration, there no doubt will be a section highlighting the work of Diana Starcher, whose Customer Connection division migrated more than 6,000 former Wachovia bankers onto the Wells platform and readied another 5,000 frontline bankers to manage the expected spike in call volume from customers over the course of the merger. As Wells' largest "alternative" channel for retail banking customers, Starcher's group, with 12,000 employees total in 27 facilities, handles more than 500 million customer contacts annually over the phone, via email and in written correspondence.
Starcher, a 30-year Wells veteran with experience in payment system services and consumer lending, has managed Wells' Customer Connection division since 2009. With the last of the group's Wachovia team (3,750 people) trained in 2011, the division's integration efforts are officially complete. Now its full attention will be directed at the combined company's 21 million customers.
Managing Union Bank's $25 billion investment securities portfolio is a big part of Erin Selleck's job, but hardly the only part. In 2011, she took over responsibility for the company's capital review plan, guiding its successful submission to the Federal Reserve. Also last year, Selleck launched an active debt issuance program, placing $1.5 billion in banknotes in the first 18 months and building a fixed-income investor relations group from scratch as the company prepares for additional debt issuance of $1 billion to $2 billion per year to spread out its liabilities. Selleck also took responsibility for familiarizing the ratings agencies with the risk profile and performance of Union Bank, which had its ratings affirmed by all three major ratings firms.
Only the second woman in Union Bank's history to serve on the executive committee, Selleck, who was promoted from EVP to senior EVP in April, is on the board of the National Association of Corporate Treasurers and serves as treasurer for the Organization of Women Executives, which is based in Los Angeles.
KeyBank, the U.S. Small Business Administration's top 7(a) large lender of the year in 2011, owes much of the distinction to Maria Coyne, who founded the bank's SBA lending program and oversaw a 31 percent increase in the number of SBA-backed loans put together last year by the Cleveland-based regional. Among her strategies? Developing training for small business relationship managers and identifying 300 branches with significant rosters of small business clients, where extra attention could be paid to specialized staffing needs and product capabilities.
But Coyne's bailiwick goes beyond small business banking. At the end of last year, she also was given responsibility for consumer banking, including Key's network of 1,000-plus branches in 14 states and the integration of the branch channel with the company's call centers and online and mobile banking channels.
Coyne is a dedicated mentor. (She proudly notes that her deputy on the business banking side of the house was fully prepared to step in when she took the more consumer-oriented role in December.) Coyne is on KeyCorp's executive council. She also serves on the advisory council of the Center for Women's Business Research and is the founder of Key4Women, a development program for Key's female small-business customers. In December, Key4Women achieved its three-year, $3 billion lending program, three months ahead of target. It has now lent more than $6 billion to women business owners.
The rap on women in the banking industry is that they often tend to gravitate toward functional roles instead of taking on the P&L responsibility that can help them increase their influence. Mary Tuuk decided to beat the rap, and in December gave up her role as chief risk officer of Cincinnati's Fifth Third Bancorp to become president of the bank unit's Western Michigan affiliate. Though it was an orchestrated career move-at the time, she was one of six executives placed in new roles to round out their experience-she has approached the job as far more than a way station to something bigger.
She relocated to Grand Rapids, Mich., and quickly became active in the Michigan Bankers Association and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. She established aggressive goals, such as doubling the size of the private bank in the region over the next five to seven years, an effort she got a head start on this year by increasing the affiliate's wealth management staff by 44 percent. And by the end of her first full quarter in the job, Tuuk was running ahead of plan in all of her new P&L metrics.
Karen Parkhill has never been afraid to switch gears. The daughter of a surgeon and a nurse, she planned to be pre-med in college, but she found herself drawn to economics and finance and majored in business instead.
While at JPMorgan Chase, she gamely traded a job in investment banking for a role as CFO for the commercial bank. And last year she left JPMorgan and New York for Dallas, to be vice chairman and CFO of Comerica. Her primary focus there: overcoming the low-rate environment to drive bottom-line results. Huge loan growth is helping in that regard. Total loans in the second quarter were up 10 percent year over year.