The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking
Vice Chairman, BNY Mellon
"Confidence is what leadership is really all about."
Generates roughly half of BNY Mellon's pretax income
Manages a third of its 52,000 employees in 115 cities around the globe
Is the first female vice chairman in the company's 227-year history
Started, and still leads, the bank's wildly successful women's network.
It's easy to prove Karen Peetz is powerful in the traditional sense of the word.
She generates roughly half of BNY Mellon's pretax income. She manages a third of its 52,000 employees in 115 cities around the globe. She is the first female vice chairman in the company's 227-year history. She started, and still leads, the bank's wildly successful women's network.
But Peetz's power goes far beyond the standard definition.
She is a connector of people and ideas. She thinks creatively about everything she does. And she does it with so much grace and confidence that you want to do it with her.
It is no exaggeration to say Peetz has inspired generations of women in financial services and beyond. As a competitor put it: "Karen is a leader in every program she supports, every group that she joins, and every event that she participates in." That surely is true of Peetz's involvement in our 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking initiative. She generously provides her time and insights, speaking at events and serving on our advisory council. She does it all with a broad smile and count-me-in attitude. Her genuine, down-to-earth personality makes her approachable, a key trait both for motivating colleagues and mentoring younger women.
What may stand out most is how effortless Peetz's success appears. There is no drama surrounding her. No arrogance. Just a calm confidence polished with optimism.
Peetz is one of the rare executives who excel at both the soft and hard sides of business. Her ability to forge real relationships, to make the people around her feel special, has been a huge factor in her ability to build and drive businesses. She also is superb organizationally, breaking down problems and developing profitable strategies.
Her inherent optimism often leads her to find solutions where others see only problems. One of Peetz's biggest fans at BNY Mellon was Robert Kelly, who stepped down as CEO last month after a disagreement with the board and was replaced by the firm's president, Gerald Hassell.
Peetz says she would love to be the CEO of a major financial institution herself somedaythough at 55 she realizes that the window won't be open for long.
"You've got to get clear on what your goals are and how important are they to you," Peetz says. "You have to go for it. No one comes in with a silver platter."
Sounds a lot like the great advice she's been selflessly sharing with other women for years.
Senior EVP of Community Banking, Wells Fargo
"Everyone's career journey is different based on their experience, strengths and goals. I encourage emerging leaders to concentrate on the value they can bring to their teams."
Oversees the largest retail deposit bank in the United States
Manages a division with 120,000 employees
Achieved a retail bank cross-sell ratio of 5.8 products per household as of the first quarter, up from 5.6 a year earlier, with 7.4% net growth in consumer checking accounts over same period
President and CEO, Harris Financial
(Image: Sam Yocum)
"Be authentic and inclusive. Demand high standards for yourself and others. Establish clear goals and expect initiative and collaboration. Recognize and celebrate successes."
Created the 12th-largest U.S. commercial bank by assets with acquisition of M&I
Became U.S. country head for BMO Financial Group, formalizing governance oversight for all U.S. operations
Led first-half deposit growth of 14% in the personal and commercial businesses
Honored by the Anti-Defamation League as a Woman of Achievement, named Business Leader of the Year by the YWCA
President and CEO, HSBC Bank USA
(Image: Sam Yocum)
"If you think you are being treated unfairlywith respect to pay or promotion or anything elseit's important to say so. Do so respectfully and with full awareness that the answer may be 'no.' Speaking up with courageous integrity will bring benefits to you, your company and society."
Helped return bank to profitability in 2010, her first year as CEO
Is leveraging brand's international recognition in gateway U.S. cities that matter to global commerce
Chairs HSBC's U.S. Diversity council
Held legal, operations, marketing, human resources and branch network roles before being named CEO in Malaysia in 2007, and in the U.S. in January 2010
Chairman and CEO, Citizens Financial Group, and Head of RBS Americas
"If the opportunity is right, do not necessarily shy away from a lateral move. It could pave the way for future career progress."
Crafted a five-year plan (and is halfway through it now) to steer Citizens through the crisis and out of a past defined by underinvestment
Moved bank from No. 50 to No. 16 in mortgage lending in 2010
Achieved eight straight quarters of net interest margin growth through the first quarter
Is the only woman on RBS Group's nine-member executive committee, and one of the few women on the board of the Financial Services Roundtable
Vice Chairman of Payment Services, U.S. Bancorp
"Approach the required regulatory changes with product innovation and development so the changes ultimately result in a whole new set of financial products and services."
Runs Elavon, U.S. Bancorp's merchant-card processing subsidiary, as well as the company's Corporate Payment Systems, Retail Payment Solutions and Healthcare Payment Solutions units
Generated 28% of total revenue and 37% of fee revenue at U.S. Bancorp in 2010
Formed payments innovation team to address mobile and EMV card opportunities
Created Women Leaders in Action in 2010, a service and mentor group for senior women in the payment business at U.S. Bancorp
CEO of Asset Management, JPMorgan Chase
"Respond to an e-mail the first time you open it. Don't think about calling a client or colleaguemake the call. It's all part of being relentless in managing your to-do list and calendar. If you don't, they'll manage you."
Oversees firm's investment management and private banking businesses, sits on company's operating and executive committees
Delivered 20% net income growth last year on record revenue of $9 billion
Increased IT investments by 25% to pilot new trade-automation tools and mobile offerings
On board of U.S. Fund for UNICEF
Senior EVP of Consumer Lending, Wells Fargo
"The strength of teams is a result of the richness of their composition not only from an ethnic and gender perspective but also in diverse life experiences, educational backgrounds and ways of thinking."
Led technology and operations group through Wells' successful integration with Wachovia
Named head of new Wells Fargo Consumer Lending division in July, reporting to CEO John Stumpf
Fluent in Farsi and French
President, Bank of America Home Loans
"What really matters in life is connection, not connectivity; relationships, not quantity of Facebook friends; investing in people and communities, not investments."
Leads company's efforts on issues of housing finance reform
Implemented strategic shifts in the past year including an exit from reverse mortgages and wholesale origination
Oversees a business that handles about one of every five U.S. mortgages through retail, online and correspondent channels
EVP and Head of Global Resolution and Recovery, JPMorgan Chase
"I encourage people to employ the 80/20 rule. Once you've mastered 80% of the role you are in, it is time to start looking for the next opportunity."
Has firm-wide responsibility for resolution and recovery planning prompted by new regulations of systemically important financial institutions
Reports to Chief Risk Officer Barry Zubrow
Previously served as CEO of J.P. Morgan's Treasury Services business
Head of North American Global Transaction Services, Citigroup
"Use new technology and social media tools, such as discussion forums and integrated news and client data feeds, to bring to light new ideas about how to deepen global client relationships and discover new opportunities."
Leads a 6,000-member team handling needs of more than 8,000 North American-based clients
Made Citi the leading cash-management provider to the U.S. government, handling 90% of cross-border payments and managing the industry's largest commercial card program by volume for the U.S. Department of Defense; expanded public sector practice into state and local governments in 2010
Assigned as Chief Client Officer for Microsoft, as part of Citi initiative to grow revenue with top 100 institutional clients
Director, BBVA Compass
"Successful leaders convey clear messages to all stakeholdersemployees, investors and the publicabout an organization's strategy and culture."
Oversaw customer service improvements and technology upgrades that have made BBVA Compass a standard-bearer in retail banking
Worked with marketing team to make BBVA Compass "the bank of sports," with sponsorships in college football, the NBA and, through parent company BBVA, Spain's premier soccer league, La Liga
Led bank's retail banking division until appointed to BBVA Compass board in June
Head of Citi Private Bank, Citigroup
"Step out of your comfort zone even if it means learning the hard way and take responsibility for advancing your own career. Get international experience because it will open your mind to new styles, approaches and opportunities."
Drove a one-third increase in assets under management over a 12-month period
Rolled out to private wealth clients a lineup of products and services traditionally offered to institutional clients
Was global head of strategy for Citi and ran a divestiture program that raised $9 billion of capital in 2008
Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America
"Integrate marketing with public policy and social responsibility, and champion your company's power to facilitate positive change."
Directed effort to engage policymakers in Washington, London and Brussels on new regulations for the financial services industry
Developed $150 million marketing campaign and oversaw brand and reputation management initiative
Maintained Bank of America's leadership in community development, with firm making $168 billion of loans and investments in 2010
Senior EVP and Director of Retail and Business Banking, Huntington Bancshares
"Commit to managing people differently, based on their style, strengths and weaknesses. It's important to be flexible and adapt your own style to your employees to get the best out of them."
Responsible for 42% of annual net income
Led a $70 million capital investment to refurbish bank's six-state branch network
Introduced 24-hour grace period for overdrafts, recognized as by the OCC as a best practice and credited with retaining customers
Grew small-business checking relationships by 5% in a year and boosted bank's 2010 ranking among SBA lenders
CFO, TD Bank Financial Group
"Work for an organization you believe in and whose values align with your own."
Was instrumental in recent acquisitions including The South Financial Group and Chrysler Financial
Led a transformation of the finance group, integrating the U.S. and Canadian financial operations to create scalability
Oversaw broad efforts across the enterprise to manage expense growth
Global Technology and Operations Executive, Bank of America
"A woman executive I admire once said to me that she wants to be one of those managers who are known to receive bad news well. This is not a trait that is universally demonstrated at executive levels and it is a great piece of advice."
Oversees the technology serving 58 million consumer and corporate customers in 40 countries
Chairs company's environmental council and heads a 10-year, $20 billion initiative to address global climate change
Engages frequently with regulators at home and abroad on topics like risk management and governance
Former President of Global Wealth and Investment Management, Bank of America
"Nothing wins out in the end like hard work."
Oversaw one of the largest wealth management businesses in the world, with $2.2 trillion in client assets the latest of several influential roles in financial services
Led 11% increase in first-quarter revenue, versus 5% industry average, and added 600 client-facing employees in the second quarter, marking eight consecutive quarterly increases in headcount
Was CEO of research firm Sanford C. Bernstein and CFO at Citigroup before joining BofA in 2009; ousted in a management restructuring in early September
EVP and Head of Global Transaction Banking, Scotiabank
"My parents have been my finest teachers. They encouraged me to get an education and to ensure, as a woman, that I could be economically self-sufficient. I have done both."
Oversees a business that operates in more than 50 countries and posted compound annual growth rates of 10% for revenue and 18% for net income from 2007 through 2010
Serves on firm's executive management, deposit steering and strategic alignment committees
Received the World of Difference 100 Award from the International Alliance of Women
Senior EVP, Global Treasury Management, UnionBanCal
(Image: Sam Yocum)
"In my first job at a restaurant when I was 16, the owner gave me five minutes of training: Smile. Don't ever tell the customer it's not 'your' table. Don't wait until we are out of straws to tell me to order straws. It was great advice. I learned to think about my job in a much larger context. I didn't get boxed into thinking only about what I was supposed to do."
Serving as point person on a transaction banking strategy in North and South America for parent company Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, as regional bank makes transition to offering more global services
Role expanded recently to include oversight of Institutional Services, a division that handles corporate trust, custody, escrows and securities lending, adding about 400 staff members to her business unit
EVP and Regional President, Commercial Banking, HSBC Bank USA
"Don't be seduced by the false promise of work-life balance. Life and work are about making tough choices, and balance implies 50/50, which is unrealistic. Instead, make conscious decisions about how to allot your time and be fully present and engaged in the moment."
Led team to a 40% gain in cross-border referrals and an 18% increase in cross-border revenue for the first half
Implemented a new sales process for relationship managers in her region, contributing to a 30% percent year-over-year increase in first-half revenue; HSBC instituted the process nationwide as a result
Spearheaded the creation of the Marion Wingens Scholarship Fund at Bramson ORT College, in memory of a colleague and friend
EVP, Head of National Corporate and Institutional Banking, U.S. Bank
"Always do your best, whether it's recognized or not."
Manages the largest business unit within company's wholesale banking division, serving 1,500 companies nationwide with sales above $500 million; also responsible for credit and operational risk of her $43 billion portfolio
Helped to nearly double capital markets revenue in 2010
Led an increase in the number of Fortune 1000 companies served by the bank to almost 600, roughly double the number in 2008
EVP, Retail Banking, Zions Bank
"Focus on skill-building rather than promotion-seeking. When I speak in front of groups of young professionals, I encourage them to 'focus on lattice, not ladders,' as a visual reminder that it's more important to grow their abilities before they strive to climb their career trajectory."
Oversees 133 branches in two states and serves on executive management, credit administration, charitable giving and cross-sell committees
Drove a 7% increase in cross-selling last year, through a training program for front-line employees; boosted first-quarter net income from credit cards by 14% and from debit cards by 20% versus a year earlier
Instituted a coaching program for high-performing employees, to help combat rejection fatigue and improve morale and retention
President and COO, East West Bancorp
"You need to constantly review your strategy and course-correct along the way to optimize the outcome. Many people fall into the trap of wanting to rationalize their decisions, and fail to see different alternatives that will lead to better results."
Oversaw the company's return to its streak of record earnings last year, after a two-year interruption by the financial crisis
Grew the commercial loan portfolio in the first half by 35%, partly through capitalizing on trade finance activity between the United States and China
Maintained strong asset quality, with nonperformers under 1% of total assets for nine consecutive quarters
President and CEO, Columbia Bank
"It is important that the people you depend on base their advice on facts, not just assumptions."
Nearly doubled number of branches, to 102, through five acquisitions and organic growth over 18-month period ended in June; increased assets by 38% and deposits by 40%
Raised $240 million last year in a public stock offering that was upsized due to demand
Appointed in April to board of directors of the American Bankers Association
Tacoma-based bank named one of "Washington's Best Workplaces" for the fifth consecutive year by the Puget Sound Business Journal and one of "Washington's 100 Best Companies to Work For" for the third consecutive year by Seattle Business Magazine