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The 25 Women to Watch

1. Avid Modjtabai 1. Avid Modjtabai Senior EVP For Consumer Lending, Wells Fargo

Avid Modjtabai might not be the next chief executive of Wells Fargo. But to hear her boss talk about her, it's clear she's in the running to succeed him.

"You have this very, very talented leader" who has run several departments at Wells over her 19-year career there, "and each one is better when she leaves it than when she's found it," says John Stumpf, CEO of the fourth-largest bank by assets.

Stumpf still has six years before he hits the company's mandatory retirement age of 65 and says he's in no hurry to leave early, but thinks Modjtabai has played her hand well.

"Avid is one of those people that has just continued to meet and exceed every expectation," he says, adding carefully, "she and others in our company have big runways and big opportunities."

It's Modjtabai for whom he saves what has to be the highest compliments of all at Wells, which religiously calls its employees "team members" and is the only one of the big U.S. banks that could be described as having Main Street folksiness: "Avid is the best team player I've ever been around," Stumpf says.

At 50, Modjtabai has played many roles at the San Francisco-based bank, but her last two have been her most challenging yet. As head of technology and operations, she oversaw a major piece of the integration with Wachovia Bank, tying systems together and trying to present a seamless fa├žade to customers as Wells digested its crisis-era purchase.

Since last summer she has overseen the company's massive consumer lending operations, including mortgages, cards, student lending and auto finance at a time of drastic change for each of these businesses.

"There's a lot of change happening specifically in this part of financial services-all sorts of new regulation, the [national mortgage] settlement, consent orders," Modjtabai says. "You're working through those while you are also rethinking the business model."

The consumer lending group-created last July when Wells consolidated eight existing business units and put them under the leadership of Modjtabai-comprises 62,000 employees and $355 billion in loan balances, or about half of the bank's total loans.

Born in Iran, Modjtabai has been back there only twice since leaving the country after high school to attend college in the United States. She has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University.

Although most of her recent jobs at Wells have dealt with technology and the Internet, Modjtabai doesn't consider herself a techie-but she doesn't have a traditional banking background either, noting that her current role is "the first pure lending job I've had."

Wells originates one of every three residential mortgages made in this country. Some regulators are worried about overconcentration in the housing market. Modjtabai says Wells' dominance is mostly a byproduct of external factors, and not positioning by the company. "At the end of the day, consumers will vote with where they take their business."
2. Sallie Krawcheck 2. Sallie Krawcheck She was No. 1 on the very first list of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, back when she ran Smith Barney for Sandy Weill at Citi. Ten years and three high-profile jobs later, Sallie Krawcheck remains one of the most closely watched names in financial services.

Since being ousted last year as president of Bank of America's global wealth and investment management division, Krawcheck has reinvented herself as an industry commentator and critic, amassing a huge following on Twitter and penning op-eds for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the Harvard Business Review.

Perhaps the former Sanford C. Bernstein CEO and Citigroup CFO will be content just to stir up conversation about the topics important to her, including compensation reform, money-market fund regulation and the business case for diversity in the executive suite. But given the barrage of headlines about her new affiliations with a pair of little-known financial firms (in April she joined the advisory board of Gold Bullion International, which stores small quantities of precious metals for retail investors, and in June she signed on as a director at Motif Investing, a new discount brokerage), it's safe to say we're not the only ones wondering where Krawcheck takes her remarkable career from here.
3. Anne Clarke Wolff 3. Anne Clarke Wolff Co-Head Of Global Corporate Banking, Bank Of America

Three years since she left Citigroup as head of North American corporate banking, Anne Clarke Wolff's horizons have broadened. After a brief time at JPMorgan Chase, where she spent two years running global sales for the treasury services business, she joined Bank of America last fall as co-head of global corporate banking. Clarke Wolff sees a "huge opportunity" to grow the business by expanding abroad and selling BofA Merrill Lynch's global capabilities to clients here in the U.S. Seizing on that and instilling the regulatory capital discipline demanded by upcoming rules under Basel have been two of her main focus areas in her first year with the firm.
4. Diane Reyes 4. Diane Reyes Global Head Of Payments And Cash Management, HSBC

Leaving Citigroup after 11 years was a difficult decision, but also a perfect example of what Diane Reyes has long advised other women to do: leave your comfort zone and take a risk to reach for new opportunities. For Reyes, the allure of running a global cash management business, in addition to a heavily international payments division, led her last fall to HSBC, where she has P&L responsibility and oversight of sales, distribution, client management and risk management for more than 80 products and services offered to large- and middle-market corporate clients as well as government institutions.

Her group-a key funding engine for HSBC's global commercial bank and its global banking and markets business-already has seen noticeable growth in deposit levels and net income since her arrival, with much of the improvement stemming from her realignment of the group across business lines and geographic regions.

Active in industry groups and in mentorship roles, Reyes represents HSBC on the Payments Risk Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and is a senior sponsor of the Women's Accelerated Development Program, a new initiative within HSBC's global commercial bank. The pilot program offers targeted development for senior women with specific promotion goals within a six-to 18-month timeframe.
5. Sandie O'Connor 5. Sandie O'Connor Treasurer, JPMorgan Chase

During the merger between J.P. Morgan and Chase Manhattan, Sandie O'Connor was treasurer for the Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. of New York. A dozen years later, she's back in a treasurer's role at another momentous time for the company.

O'Connor became JPMorgan Chase's corporate treasurer in March, just weeks before the massive trading losses of the firm's chief investment office came to light. Since then, she's been helping to manage capital levels, liquidity, funding and ratings agency relationships for the largest U.S. bank by assets. When she made No. 23 on our Finance list last year, O'Connor was global head of prime services for J.P. Morgan, and co-chair of the J.P. Morgan Investment Bank Women's Network. In less than two years overseeing the prime brokerage business, she launched major expansions for the platform in Europe and Asia. As JPMC's treasurer, O'Connor (with the firm since 1988) joined the company's executive committee this spring and swapped her Finance list ranking for a slot on our 25 Women to Watch list.
6. Rilla Delorier 6. Rilla Delorier Chief Marketing Officer, Suntrust Banks

Rilla Delorier and the marketing team at SunTrust Banks have been putting up strong customer-service scores for several years now. In the last year, all that goodwill translated into tangible gains in market share, as customer loyalty increased across the company's consumer, middle-market, and commercial banking lines of business.

Much of Delorier's recent work has focused on replacing revenue lost to regulatory changes. Last year she steered a strategic projects team that identified $300 million in new revenue opportunities and renegotiated a co-branded credit card deal with Delta to improve on the economics for SunTrust. In addition, she rolled out a new checking account lineup and withdrew a debit rewards program with minimal disruption to the business. Delorier also accelerated the installation of new technology that gives employees a consistent view of client information across accounts and channels, bringing it live in four months versus 18 months so that it would be there during the checking account conversion process.
7. Bita Ardalan 7. Bita Ardalan Executive Vice President, Union Bank

In 2011, Union Bank created a National Specialized Lending Group, merging a sleepy, 35-year-old commercial finance business with niche lending teams in the environmental services and fund finance sectors. As president of the new division, Ardalan revived the commercial finance group, overhauling its management structure; she also quickly added three more specialties to the group-nonprofits, healthcare finance, and aerospace and defense-and already is evaluating additional prospects.

Ardalan joined Union Bank in 1986 as a management trainee. She knows the company's home territory well, having served as market president for Los Angeles commercial banking before her current assignment. But in her new role, she is concentrating on building a national profile for the company. More than 75 percent of the NSLG's new relationships have come from outside Union Bank's traditional West Coast footprint.
8. Deborah Hopkins 8. Deborah Hopkins Chief Innovation Officer And Chairman Of Venture Capital Initiatives, Citigroup

Firm in the belief that "innovation is a repeatable activity that can be taught," Deborah Hopkins has a three-pronged approach to getting Citigroup back on the cutting edge-embedding the appetite, and the capacity, for innovation into the corporate culture; prototyping new businesses; and exploring "disruptive" ideas and fresh technology through both strategic equity investments and the in-house development of new ventures. Her group met with more than 600 start-ups last year, resulting in 13 direct investments by Citi Ventures.

Hopkins, a former CFO for Boeing and for Lucent Technologies, has been with Citi since 2003. After roles leading corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and operations and technology, she took the innovation job and relocated to Palo Alto, Calif. (Her group also has offices also in New York, Shanghai and Singapore.) A side benefit to her Silicon Valley base: she helped Citi into some big IPOs, while bringing products and service offerings of these newly public companies into Citi.
9. Caryl Athanasiu 9. Caryl Athanasiu EVP And Chief Operational Risk Officer, Wells Fargo

With the dangers of credit risk and market risk pretty well known by now, regulators and bankers alike are focusing a lot more attention on operational risk. That's significantly upped the profile of Caryl Athanasiu. She runs the group tasked with setting risk parameters for the company and ensuring operational compliance with Basel rules, the stress tests and living will requirements. Athanasiu also is personally overseeing Wells Fargo's performance under the residential mortgage servicing consent orders with the OCC and Federal Reserve, as well as the settlement reached this spring with the Justice Department and various state attorneys general.

Under Athanasiu, Wells established a Regulatory Change Management Office, responsible for providing input into the rulemaking process and implementing final requirements. It also combined the handling of anti-money laundering efforts, sanctions, fraud and customer due diligence into a Financial Crimes Risk Management Group, to better leverage customer and transaction data. With Wells since 1985, Athanasiu's experience includes roles in treasury management, wholesale services, corporate banking and strategic planning. She chairs the company's Enterprise Risk Management Committee and sits on its Ethics Committee and Consumer Council. She also is a member of committees overseeing reputation management, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and large financial transactions.

Athanasiu sits on the advisory board of Horizons Foundation, a social justice philanthropy serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities. She also is involved with the Redwood City Educational Foundation and helped the group, which supports elementary school students from low-income, immigrant families, to double its fundraising and move from an all-volunteer model to an organization with paid staff.
10. Cecilia Stewart 10. Cecilia Stewart President, U.S. Consumer And Commercial Banking, Citigroup

After joining Citi in January 2011, Cece Stewart crisscrossed the country, visiting staff in numerous markets where, as she puts it, "people hadn't seen someone who ran the whole U.S. market before." That was just one sign of the underinvestment she'd have to overcome to get Citi's retail and small business banking back on track. Since then she has instituted regular calls with branch managers and commercial bankers and armed her retail team with a "book of business" tool, similar to the system that commercial bankers typically use to organize and tier their client base.

Stewart, a 30-year Wachovia veteran and past chair of the Consumer Bankers Association, also led the North American implementation of technology allowing for a 360-degree view of client relationships across channels and product lines.

Citi still has a long way to go to redefine its U.S. retail strategy, which came to be neglected during the global supermarket era. But Stewart, who spent two years at Morgan Stanley before landing at Citi, has started breathing new life into the operation with key hires including a new president of Citigold, which is aimed at affluent customers, and a new head of consumer and small business banking products. She also appointed 13 market presidents, installed regional presidents in the eastern and central portions of the country and converted about 550 full-time equivalent positions from the back office to the front lines, where they now contribute to revenue production and client service.
11. Diana Starcher 11. Diana Starcher Group EVP, Wells Fargo Customer Connection

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.
12. Erin Selleck 12. Erin Selleck Senior EVP And Treasurer, Union Bank

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.
13. Maria Coyne 13. Maria Coyne EVP, Consumer And Small Business Banking, Keycorp

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.
14. Mary Tuuk 14. Mary Tuuk EVP, Fifth Third Bancorp; President, Fifth Third Bank Western Michigan

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.
15. Karen Parkhill 15. Karen Parkhill Vice Chairman And CFO, Comerica

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.
16. Kelly Mathieson 16. Kelly Mathieson Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase

With global responsibility for JPMorgan Chase's custody and clearance business, Kelly Mathieson oversees a group where assets under custody exceed U.S. GNP, and where $2 trillion is cleared daily to support the activities of global investment banks, broker-dealers and the primary dealers of U.S. securities. Last October, she took on additional duties managing direct custody and clearing, foreign exchange and cash for a new investor services business, housed within the Worldwide Securities Services division. But where Mathieson really shines is in applying her markets expertise to niche areas such as microfinance (in 2004 she addressed the U.N. General Assembly on the impact of microlending) and in serving as a problem solver who can help her firm get a handle on transformational changes affecting the business. In Europe, she has met with regulators drafting new rules for alternative investment fund managers, as the measures could have a substantial impact not just on the funds but on their custodian banks. Here at home, she has been a vocal proponent of reforms to the tri-party repo market, and sits on a New York Fed task force on the issue. She also has dealt with regulators on the crafting of the Volcker rule.
17. Janice Fukakusa 17. Janice Fukakusa Chief Administrative Officer And CFO, Royal Bank Of Canada

Janice Fukakusa will tell you she wasn't a conventional choice for either of her two main jobs at Royal Bank of Canada. Though her long tenure with the company had spanned a wide range of businesses and corporate functions-retail banking, corporate banking, audit, strategic development-she didn't have an extensive background in finance or in technology and operations, all of which are under her purview as CFO and chief administrative officer for Canada's largest financial services institution.

But straying from her comfort zone has once again paid off. Fukakusa is one of nine senior executives responsible for overall management of the bank, and she is a key spokesperson for the company in front of investors, regulators and clients. As CFO, she led the company's conversion this year from Canadian GAAP to International Financial Reporting Standards, a complex switch in accounting standards. On the technology and operations side, she has championed green solutions that have helped to lower costs. A server decommissioning program, for example, reduced energy needs in the company's data centers, while offering a Web version of the annual report, complete with video and interactive content, substantially lowered printing and mailing costs. The expense reductions have been a big priority for Fukakusa. She chairs an RBC committee responsible for slashing annual expense growth by 50 percent, something the company is on target to accomplish by 2014. She also played a big role in the divestiture of RBC Bank USA, which was sold this year to PNC Financial Services Group for $3.5 billion.

Fukakusa is involved in a long list of nonprofits, including the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and United Way. She also got RBC involved in WEConnect Canada, which certifies women-owned firms and connects female entrepreneurs with businesses looking for diverse suppliers.
18. Elyse Weiner 18. Elyse Weiner Managing Director, Global Head Of Liquidity And Investments For Citi Transaction Services

Low rates are a direct headwind for any deposit-based business. But even in the current rate environment, Elyse Weiner, who has management responsibility for 40 percent of Citi's firm-wide deposit base, has delivered impressive performance. She repositioned the balance sheet by restructuring the deposit mix and implementing pricing and hedge programs for new deposit products, contributing to healthy year-over-year increases in net interest income and net interest margin. She also developed a treasury advisory group to complement the product management offered to clients, which include 15 of the world's largest asset management companies.

Weiner moved from JPMorgan Chase to Citi in 2004, and has been a key voice on changes to the Basel framework, representing the firm before regulators, government agencies and peer banks. In 2011, she co-authored a paper on Basel III liquidity regulation that was subsequently adopted by the Institute for International Finance and submitted to the Basel committee. She also is readying CTS for other developments, including the eventual expiration of unlimited FDIC deposit insurance for non-interest bearing deposits, upcoming deadlines for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act requirements and the potential for new regulations of money market funds.
19. Colleen Taylor 19. Colleen Taylor EVP For Treasury Management And Merchant Services, Capital One Commercial Bank

When she joined Capital One from Wachovia in 2009, Colleen Taylor found a jumble of systems underpinning the bank's treasury services business, the result of a rapid expansion and multiple acquisitions. Over the next year, she and her team spent much of their time preparing the business case for a substantial investment in infrastructure. She won approval for a three-year, multimillion-dollar budget, the bulk of which was apportioned in 2011, with more than two dozen new products or product enhancements brought onboard. She also restructured the sales coverage, creating dedicated teams for high-value clients, and instilled closer cooperation between operations, technology and business line staff. The partnership has yielded some dramatic improvements in key areas, such as the straight-through processing rate on wires.

In addition to treasury services, Taylor oversees Capital One's merchant-acquiring business, which has been growing at a double-digit pace since her arrival. Taylor previously was SVP over global payments and liquidity services at Wachovia Bank, and before that spent 15 years in treasury services at JPMorgan Chase and the former Chase Manhattan, spending time in London as head of Chase's Europe, Middle East and Africa strategy for financial institutions and corporate clients.

Taylor is on the boards of NACHA, the electronic payments association, and PayCo, the payments and settlements arm of The Clearing House Payments Co. Among her many philanthropic endeavors, for 11 years she has lent her financial expertise to the Veritas Therapeutic Community, a drug rehabilitation agency based in Harlem, serving two terms as treasurer and initiating merger discussions when funding challenges prompted the need for a partner. (The talks led to the recent merger with another local nonprofit.)

Mentorship has been a key focus for Taylor, who says that one of the most interesting programs she's been involved in was a "reverse" mentor program, in which senior executives were paired with lower-ranking employees from diverse populations. The idea was to give the executives a chance to ask questions and gain exposure to different cultures and backgrounds represented in the employee base, while giving the mentees an opportunity to engage with senior leadership.
20. Lynn Heitman 20. Lynn Heitman SVP Of Retail Payment Solutions, U.S. Bank

The portions of the Durbin amendment that took effect last October had a profound impact on the debit card business, one of Lynn Heitman's main areas of responsibility at U.S. Bank. Heitman had to make big changes to comply with new limits on interchange rates and changes to provisions around network exclusivity. She also worked closely with U.S. Bancorp's retail banking business to identify ways to replace revenue lost to the new regulations.

In the midst of all the changes to the debit model, Heitman, who has worked in the payments industry for 25 years, also introduced two new credit cards (the U.S. Bank Cash + Visa Signature rewards card and the U.S. Bank Business Charge Card) and led the build-out of product development, branch sales support and customer experience teams.

Beginning last year, her group started reaping the benefits of a collaborative effort to improve card sales, with retail branch employees now incentivized to ask customers to compare their current cards with the features of U.S. Bank's credit cards. The result? A 40 percent jump in card sales at U.S. Bank branches.
21. Candida Wolff 21. Candida Wolff EVP And Head Of Global Government Affairs, Citigroup

Back when Candi Wolff was the Bush administration's chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill, the emphasis on any given day could shift depending on which domestic or international issues were in the headlines. The speed and flexibility she developed in response have served her well at Citi, where she manages relationships with government officials around the globe and works to advance Citi's objectives in areas ranging from Dodd-Frank and derivatives regulation to data privacy laws and local tax rules.

Since joining Citi in May 2011 from the law firm Hogan Lovells, where she was a partner in the legislative and policy practice, Wolff has set priorities and crafted well-defined positions in an office that used to take a more ad hoc approach to issues as they arose.

With only 17 staffers covering 101 countries, efficiency matters. A big part of Wolff's job is mapping out the legislative issues that cross multiple jurisdictions, and following the trend lines to make sure resources are allocated for optimum effect. (U.S. regulatory affairs are generally handled by Citi's legal department.)

Domestically, Wolff has leveraged her relationships with key legislators (she was deputy staff director for the Senate's Republican Policy Committee from 1996 to 2000) to position Citi as a thought leader on the issues, providing background information for hearings and offering up Citi economists and other specialists for briefings. But the biggest increase in activity for Wolff's office has been on the international side, in emerging markets especially, where financial issues have taken center stage.
22. Claire Whitfield Tucker 22. Claire Whitfield Tucker President And CEO, CapStar Bank

In 2007, a group of Nashville investors put up $88 million to start CapStar Bank and recruited Claire Whitfield Tucker as its president and CEO. She opened the bank's doors in July 2008, but the inauspicious start date seems to have had little effect: with a mix of acquisitions and organic growth, CapStar last year expanded market share faster than any other bank in its home state of Tennessee, and assets are fast approaching the $1 billion mark.

CapStar turned profitable in the first quarter of 2011. Soon after, it brought in a veteran commercial lending duo from another market to build a commercial finance division; the department has grown to 10 employees and has been a catalyst, as well as a source of diversification, for CapStar's lending portfolio.

On the acquisition side, one of her first deals, for the Cool Springs branch of Community First Bank & Trust, got scuttled earlier this year after buyer and seller failed to reach an agreement on proposed modifications to the terms. But a merger with American Security Bank & Trust in nearby Sumner County was approved in June and is expected to close in October, with Tucker at the helm of the combined, five-branch company.

Tucker started in banking in 1975 as a trainee at First American National Bank, rising to president of the corporate bank two decades later. When the bank was bought by AmSouth in 1999, she stayed on as senior EVP overseeing commercial banking activities in six southeastern states and New York. She later joined the $1.7 billion-asset FirstBank as SVP for metro markets and president of the Nashville market. Last year, Tucker was appointed to a three-year term chairing the Sixth Federal Reserve District Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council, which meets semi-annually with the Fed's board of governors to discuss small banks' views on policymaking.

She has a long history of involvement in local charities and was a founding director of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp.
23. Diana Reid 23. Diana Reid EVP And Head Of PNC Real Estate

As competitors continue to struggle with legacy commercial real estate assets, Diana Reid's real estate team at PNC Financial Services Group has kept its foot on the gas, refinancing $5 billion in maturing loans last year (while improving credit risk ratings on the assets) and coming up with 18 percent net loan growth in 2011. Key to Reid's success were two innovative strategies: she brought her team's know-how to new clients, such as private equity investors in distressed assets; and she created a program to deliver longer-duration funding to clients with stabilized CRE assets. That's an atypical offering, Reid says, and it required new credit policies and funding mechanisms. But the effort paid off in loan growth and market share.

We'll keep watching Reid as she responds to two potential game-changers in her world: risk-retention rules for securitized real estate loans and the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
24. Susan Evans 24. Susan Evans Chief Operating Officer And CEO-Designate, MidWestOne Bank

As chief operating officer at MidWestOne Bank, Sue Evans is responsible for the day-to-day banking activities at MidWestOne Bank. And when the company's succession plan kicks in, she'll be responsible for all that and then some as CEO of the $1.7 billion-asset institution. Current CEO Charles Funk, who has no specific timetable for retirement, says Evans has been instrumental not only in running the revenue-generating aspects of the commercial bank, but in setting strategy, knocking down product silos and developing new lines of business such as trust, investments and insurance. Evans also led efforts to install a customer relationship management system across all of the company's 26 offices. It's expected to help the company lift the number of MidWestOne products or services per household from the current above-industry average of 3.03 to 3.10 by the end of this year.

The first quarter of 2012 was the strongest in the company's 78-year history, with net interest income (all generated by areas Evans oversees) up 14 percent from the year-ago quarter, while the efficiency ratio dropped below 60 percent for the first time in years.

Evans came to MidWestOne during its 2008 merger with Iowa State Bank & Trust Co. She chairs the board of trustees at the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, where she was the first female trustee in the school's 62-year history, and she is on the board of SHAZAM, which provides ATM processing and other electronic funds transfer services to 1,500 financial institutions.
25. Peyton Patterson 25. Peyton Patterson

After a brief sabbatical following her exit from NewAlliance Bancshares, Peyton Patterson is back in an executive role and back on our ranking, where she has appeared six times before. In September, Patterson took over as CEO of BNC Financial Group, the holding company for The Bank of New Canaan, The Bank of Fairfield and Stamford First Bank, in Connecticut. Patterson made six acquisitions in 10 years at NewAlliance, before selling the company to First Niagara Financial Group of Buffalo, N.Y. It's expected that her appetite for dealmaking will be just as voracious at BNC, which hired her specifically to execute a growth plan.

These leaders, some of whom are just emerging and others who are bringing a wealth of experience into new roles, are women worth keeping an eye on.

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