The 25 Women to Watch
Chairman and CEO, KeyCorp
"People will cheer for you as long as you're a winner, but if you stumble, you run the risk that they'll pile on because you were so ambitious Virtually every time I've been offered an opportunity, I think about the risk I am taking, and ask myself if my abilities measure up."
A common knock on female executives is that they are too timid when it comes to verbalizing their career goals, but Beth Mooney can recall telling colleagues two decades ago at Bank One the she hoped to someday have then-CEO John McCoy's job.
Mooney credits her father, a former chemist with Dow Chemical, for giving her the confidence to pursue her ambitions. "My dad had always told me to be what I wanted to be," says Mooney. "There were never these assumptions that I couldn't do something because I'm a woman.
"My mother, on other hand, always wondered why I wasn't married and having children."
This spring, Mooney boarded a plane to Colorado to visit her father at his nursing home. She wanted to tell him in person that she had just been named CEO at KeyCorp, the first large, U.S.-based banking company to appoint a woman to the top executive post.
"When I told him, he teared up ... and said he was so proud of me," says Mooney. "That he was 92 and still alive and could share that moment meant everything to me."
Three decades ago, women like Mooney were often the only females in management meetings and usually weren't invited when bank presidents would take their clients to lunch. Today, Mooney marvels at the strides women have made in a single generation, noting that scores of women hold key decision-making positions and that more and more are advancing to senior-level positions each day.
"There have been many talented, successful women who have come ahead of me, and I'm grateful for the trailblazing that they did," she says. "I realize that for a woman to get this job it's taken a village."
Mooney began her career in corporate banking, at Republic Bank of Texas in the late 1970s, and switched to commercial real estate lending (the "ultimate guys' club," she says) in the 1980s. From there, she took on a series of high-profile jobs, including regional and Ohio president for BankOne, chief financial officer at AmSouth Bancorp., and vice chairman and head of community banking at the $86 billion-asset Key, where she oversaw all of the bank's major business lines. Her aspirations were no secret. "I've always been transparent about being as ambitious as my skills would take me," she says.
Mooney's career also was propelled by great coaching and support from bankers including McCoy, former AmSouth CEO Dowd Ritter, and Henry Meyer, her predecessor at Key. "They were all mentors who took an active interest in my career," Mooney says. "No one gave me opportunities that I didn't earn, but they were looking for ways to give me opportunities to help me develop."
Mooney, who took over as CEO in May, also recognizes that she is an inspiration for other up-and-coming female executives. Ultimately she will be judged for her performance as a leader, and not for being the first female to run a big, U.S.-based bank. But Mooney believes that if she is successful in delivering results for customers and shareholders and making Key a more attractive place for employees, more women will aim for the C suite.
"I'm very conscious of those women who will look to me as a role model," she says. "That's why I feel a little extra obligation and a little extra commitment to do this well."
How KeyCorp's Next CEO Can Make It a Contender
Next KeyCorp CEO a Product of Old-School Grooming
KeyCorp Picks Beth Mooney as Next Chairman and CEO
Mooney in 2008 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking (#19)
President and CEO, MetLife Bank
"The best piece of advice I've ever been given was from my husband, who urged me to slow down and take time to enjoy the small things in life. Relentlessly focusing on the future deprives you of truly enjoying the present."
Preferring to remain regulated as an insurance company instead of a bank, MetLife puts its deposit-gathering business up for sale this summer. But the biggest piece of MetLife Bank, its mortgage entity, will remain with the company under the leadership of President and CEO Donna DeMaio. The turmoil in the retail home loan industry is pressuring returns, but DeMaio is responding by diversifying, with successful initiatives in warehousing and correspondence lending.
Global Head of Payments and Cash Management, HSBC
"Don't be afraid to take risks interview for the next job periodically. Don't worry if you're not 100% experienced. If you don't get the job, you will have broadened your network and increased your visbility for the next opportunity."
At Citigroup, Diane Reyes was responsible for a global payments business spanning more than 100 countries. This fall, she joined HSBC as global head of payments and cash management, a newly created role at the company. A mentor to many, she remains based in New York and reports to John Coverdale, head of Global Transaction Banking, who says her appointment "underlines HSBC's continued commitment to investing in our payments and cash management business" and is part of a wider strategy to support global corporate and institutional customers.
President of U.S. Consumer and Commercial Banking, Citigroup
"Always be 'on' when interacting with colleagues and clients. A good friend and mentor taught me early in my career that while showing up is important, it is also critical to make the right impression. Even if you are not feeling your best, make a point a to be positive and engaging because that is the lasting impression you want to leave behind."
Cece Stewart learned her trade at Wachovia, where she rose from branch manager to head of retail over three decades with the bank. In 2008, Morgan Stanley recruited her to develop a branch banking strategyonly to decide it would keep wealth management as its main venue for taking retail deposits. Now she's back in the traditional-banking fold, having been hired last September for a key post at Citi, where she is the only female member of the firm's operating committee.
Chief Administrative Officer, Wells Fargo
"Consider making lateral moves. New functions, new businesses, even new accounts or geographies can expand your understanding and your network and prepare you for the time the advancement opportunity arises."
She directed the integration for one of the most extensive mergers in banking history. She took on responsibility for areas at the heart of reputation management, including corporate communications and corporate human resources. She's a former head of compliance and enterprise risk management. Is there anything Patricia Callahan can't do at Wells Fargo? This year, the 33-year Wells veteran added enterprise marketing and government relations to her plate, with her promotion in January to chief administrative officer.
COO of Global Enterprise Payments, Citigroup
"Can you remember the biggest problem you had at this time last week? Remember this too shall pass."
When consumer companies selling online in India are able to reach the 220 million people there with checking accounts, instead of just the 20 million or so with credit cards, they'll have Deborah Doyle McWhinney to thank. This wealth management veteran turned heads in February when she switched into Citi's newly created global enterprise payments division to oversee two of four "capability development" teams working on new services for global clients. (She has since been made COO of the group.) But old strengths die hard. McWhinney, who was with Bank of America and Charles Schwab before joining Citi in 2009, also led a recent effort to realign Citi's menu of consumer account offerings. In addition, she co-heads an internal program aimed at developing female talent at the company.
Vice Chairman, Comerica
"Continually seek new challenges.If they are not readily apparent or automatically given, go find them and make them yours. It's when you are no longer challenged in your current position that you stop growing professionally."
Karen Parkhill began her career in Dallas as a securities analyst. She's back in Big D, after nearly a decade with JPMorgan Chase, to be a vice chairman at Comerica, overseeing planning and development, compliance, and a range of services ranging from corporate real estate to enterprise payments. The new job began in August; this fall she will take on the additional role of chief financial officer, replacing the retiring Beth Acton. Parkhill had been CFO of JPMorgan's commercial banking business.
President and CEO, Professional Business Bank
"Use your femininity; use your maternal instinct. Something that has played over and over in my favor is being able to connect with our employees at all levels. It's a differentiator when you're approachable."
When we were discussing wardrobe for this issue's cover shoot, Mary Lynn Lenz let our stylist know, "I don't mind taking chances." But we already knew that. She's spearheaded two major rescue jobs, at Slade's Ferry Bancorp in Massachusetts and, more recently, at Professional Business Bank in Pasadena, Calif. She previously held supporting roles at larger banks Citizens and KeyCorp but Lenz, a theater major in college, seems to have found her niche at smaller banks where she can run the whole show.
EVP of Store Operations and Service Programs, TD Bank
"Many women, particularly young women, keep a lot of who they are to themselves because they think it's what their employer wants. But today, women are well positioned to lead an integrated life that includes everything that's important to them."
A lot of the innovation and service that TD Bank is associated with can be traced back to Linda Verba. She spearheaded the company's implementation of Teller Image Capture, which streamlines processes in the branch. She also was instrumental in the integration of The South Financial Group, which unified the company's branch network from Maine to Florida. Verba chairs her bank's Women in Leadership committee, and also advocates within the company to improve accessibility for disabled customers and employees, and to enhance Spanish-language services offered by the bank.
President and CEO, Citizens Republic
"Consistent and open communication is a great management tool. One of the first things I started after being named CEO in 2009 was a CEO blog, to foster communication and teamwork throughout the company."
The economy has been tough on Citizens Republic, the largest bank holding company headquartered in Michigan. But after three years of losses, Cathleen Nashpromoted to CEO in 2009 from the executive vice president levelproudly announced this summer that the $9.5 billion-asset bank had returned to profitability, netting $18.5 million in the second quarter. The company has partnered with the city of Detroit to get grants and loans in the hands of residents seeking to improve their homes and neighborhoods.
Group EVP, Wells Fargo Customer Connection
"Stay connected with your teams. Particularly in times of change when there is uncertainty, it's important to understand how people are feeling and their concerns to provide support and information."
Supporting multiple lines of business at Wells Fargo, and doing plenty of selling of its own, the customer contact organization led by Diana Starcher handles more than 500 million customer engagements each year, over phone lines, email and old-fashioned mail correspondence. A 29-year veteran of Wells, Starcher has realigned a once-disparate call center network and managed the integration of Wachovia's service efforts with skill and grace. Her focus now: the continued implementation of technology and productivity upgrades.
Chief Credit Officer,Regions Financial
"Create a culture that rewards people for addressing problems swiftly. In this business, and in life, we can't control all the variables. What we can do is put ourselves in the best position possible to manage the risks."
Since her promotion to chief credit officer last August, Barb Godin has been on a mission to help reengineer the risk-management culture at Regions. Problem loans are being identified earlier, a social responsibility credit officer has been put in place to ensure equitable treatment across all lending products, and commercial underwriting has been instilled with new discipline, using the type of centralized processes more commonly associated with consumer lending. That's the side of the business Godin grew up in, at Scotiabank and elsewhere, before landing at Regions in 2003 as a consumer credit executive.
Regional President, Fifth Third Bank
"It is easy to cancel a meeting with a protégé when there are other, pressing priorities. Resist easy. Take care of the urgent and ensure that you're spending time developing the people around you."
Just like Fifth Third CEO Kevin Kabat, Michelle Van Dyke came to the Cincinnati-based bank via its acquisition of Old Kent Financial. And just like Kabat, she spent time as president of Fifth Third Bank in western Michigan. Now she oversees Fifth Third affiliates in five regions, with aggressive targets for many of themincluding a plan to double assets and revenue in the St. Louis market by 2013. She's also a force in talent development. In June 2010 she launched a regional leadership program, and 40 exports from her region were placed in senior roles across the company in the past year.
EVP and Head of Real Estate, PNC Financial Services Group
"Regularly take the opportunity to recognize yourself and your colleagues for jobs well done. But be diligent in addressing how you and your team might have contributed to an improved process or exceeded the results."
In addition to heading the real estate segment of PNC's corporate and institutional banking division, Diana Reid serves on PNC's management, corporate credit risk and reserve adequacy committees, and its corporate diversity council. Before PNC, Reid was a founding partner of the boutique advisory firm Beekman Advisors, and previously worked at Credit Suisse. "In the span of four short years," PNC Senior Vice Chairman William Demchak says, "she has proven to be an invaluable component of our organization."
Chief Risk Officer, Fifth Third Bancorp
"Take time for yourself to get personally renewed, and do it often. Balance is a smart business strategy."
The highest-ranking woman at Fifth Third, Mary Tuuk was miles ahead of her peers with her aggressive approach to credit problems from the start of the financial crisis. The upside to this strategy is finally shining through. Net income over the last 12 months was up 52 percent from a year earlier. Chargeoffs have plummeted, and the company exited TARP in early 2011.
EVP and Chief Commercial Risk Officer, Capital One Financial
"I don't separate my community work from my banking work; I feel that I can make far more difference in the community through Capital One Bank than I ever could alone."
As chief risk officer of Capital One Bank, Suzanne Hammett last year commissioned one of the largest infrastructure investments that Capital One has ever made: a new platform that allows for real-time credit review, ensures regulatory compliance and assists in rapid decision-making. She has increased the bank's lending and investing in affordable housing, and she has worked with colleagues in HR and lending to build a recruiting and talent-management program that includes a two-day, bi-annual forum, developed by Hammett, for risk-management employees.
President and CEO, Sound Community Bank
"Every Friday, I email our employees and our board members to update them on those things we have done during the week to make dreams come true this might be a single loan transaction or a special client service."
When Laurie Stewart joined her organization as CEO in 1989, it was a one-branch credit union with $38 million in assets. It converted to a thrift in 2003, and now Sound Community has five branches in western Washington and assets of nearly $330 million. Stewart was one of 14 bankers nationwide appointed to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Advisory Board for community banks, and she has testified in both WashingtonsD.C. and stateon banking issues. She steered Sound through the crisis with a surgical approach to cost cutting, and kept up morale with innovative ideas, like a program that pays up to 5 percent of a cost saving or revenue enhancement to the employee whose suggestion resulted in the benefit.
Global Head of Liquidity and Investments, Citigroup Global Transaction Services
"New opportunities present themselves, and the rest will follow. The 'rest' can be interpreted in many ways personal satisfaction, industry recognition, higher compensation, or whatever in your mind makes it all worthwhile."
Elyse Weiner leads a business that operates in more than 100 countries and accounts for nearly 45 percent of Citi's firm-wide deposit base. She has been expanding the division's client roster, while helping older clients transition from crisis mode to recovery mode, and she reports that price and deposit product structures "have already started to shift" in response to new regulations and economic trends. She's at the vanguard of defining the new normal for multinational corporate clients.
SVP of U.S. Card Operations, Capital One Financial
"Our community [volunteer] initiative has inspired my team to open our thinking to the possibility of what we can achieve when we deliver as one operations team a concept that is transferable to how we deliver for our customers and our business."
In an era defined by belt-tightening, Heather Cox staked the future of Capital One's U.S. card business on investments in customer service. She developed and delivered on a comprehensive strategy including new online service capabilities, and special programs for the highest-spending card customers or customers with multiple Capital One card and banking products. Cost savings from elsewhere around her division have helped to fund the initiatives, which are credited with lifting customer satisfaction scores. Last year, Cox was appointed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to a new state commission charged with creating efficiencies and improving transparency in state government.
SVP of Retail Payment Solutions, U.S. Bank
"Your integrity is your legacy."
As the head of the branded credit and debit card business at U.S. Bank, Lynn Heitman is responsible for more than half of the annual revenue generated by the company's retail payments division. Her group has rolled out some notable innovations in the industry, including the U.S. Bank ScoreBoard, an online tool to help small-business customers monitor their own card spending and compare card sales data to industry trends. More tools like these are on deck to debut over the next six months.
Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer, SunTrust Banks
"Exposing my children to my challenges at work, along with how I'm thinking about them, has helped them tackle everyday problems and provided a way for me to engage with them in meaningful conversation and coaching opportunities."
With her keen insights as to how banks should approach things like social media, and with presence and charisma to spare, SunTrust's Rilla Delorier is an emerging voice on industry issues related to marketing. This Harvard MBA also is a tactician. When her company's biggest competitor on service, Wachovia, got taken over, Delorier smelled opportunity, and invited customers to "Experience the Difference at SunTrust." From Gallup surveys to Forrester studies, the company has been raking in customer-service accolades ever since.
Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase
"Going well beyond tokenism, diversity initiatives create a continuous wellspring of talent."
Named on three pending patents and appointed to represent her company on a New York Fed task force addressing needed reforms in the tri-party repo market, Kelly Mathieson has been a driving force behind the re-imagination of clearance and collateral management at JPMorgan Chase. She applies some right-brain skills to the company as well, working with the Treasury and Securities Diversity Council to identify and develop potential leaders in the group, and establishing a charitable fund that has raised more than $500,000 for microfinance, in honor of a former colleague.
President and CEO, Centric Bank
"While prognosticators say, 'When the economy rebounds, we'll consider a growth plan,' I remind our team that we are the economy."
Innovate. Adapt. Reinvent. This is the strategy Patricia Husic has followed at Centric Financial, a $216 million-asset bank in Harrisburg, Pa. She led the investor group that acquired a predecessor bank and established the Centric brand in 2007. Her bankers' intimate knowledge of the local market has spurred growth. For example, a new location in Hershey, Pa., home to a large medical community, offers a suite of products from life insurance to payroll accounts to building loans geared toward doctors and other healthcare professionals. Net income at Centric last year rose 129 percent.
EVP, Business Banking Segment Head, KeyBank
"Match your passion with the facts. Often women especially can come off as 'emotional' when in fact they are just passionate, so be sure to speak to the numbers to really get people's interest and buy-in."
Find an organization with "women" and "business" in the title, and chances are Maria Coyne has ties to it. Involved with the Center for Women's Business Research and the National Association of Women Business Owners, among other groups, she also is the founder of Key4Women, a program for female small-business customers of KeyBank. Key CEO Beth Mooney says that when the company established business banking as its own segment last year, separate from commercial or consumer banking, there was no question in her mind that Coyne as tireless an advocate for women employees as she is for women customers was the right person to run it.
CEO, WashingtonFirst Bank
"Not every decision needs to be made immediately; not every goal needs to be achieved by the end of the day. Taking the time to get to the very best answer is always worth it."
As rare it is to find a bank with a female CEO, it's even rarer to find a bank founded by a woman. Shaza Andersen started WashingtonFirst in Reston, Va., in 2004, and has since grown it into a $538 million-asset institution with 10 branches in the metro D.C. market. Despite the sluggish economic environment, 2010 was a record year for the bank, with double-digit growth in assets in deposits.
These women some newcomers, and some familiar faces in new roles are on the rise and well positioned to shape the industry for years to come.
The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking
The 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance