Vice Chairman of Capital Markets Origination and Global Co-Head of Consumer Products Banking, Citigroup

On a recent weekend, Elinor Hoover was teaching her teenage son, an aspiring pianist, the importance of repetition.

"I was telling him to repeat this passage over and over and over again," said Hoover, who majored in music at Yale University. "Interestingly enough, he kept getting better at it."

To Hoover, his mastery wasn't merely practice making perfect. Instead, each try was a creative attempt to arrive at the best solution. Attacking a problem — whether it's structuring an acquisition or merger for a Citigroup client or mastering the crescendo of a complicated piece — is about approaching it with creativity. "It's what constantly allows you to be on the edge of your game," Hoover said. "The music process allows you to think about different angles."

Hoover is about a year into her role as global co-head of consumer products banking at Citi. She has been tasked with significantly growing the business, which is part of the corporate and investment banking group. It is a big opportunity because the sector is being transformed through megamergers and the popularity of emerging consumer brands.

As part of her job, Hoover reorganized the team to enhance tasks like client outreach. "I'm most proud of really restructuring the group, revamping it, and hiring new talent," she said. "We've hired a lot of young talent."

Outside of work, Hoover spends a lot of time fostering her son's interest in music. He has traveled to Portugal on a piano-playing tour and recently spent a couple of weeks at the Music Academy of the West, near Santa Barbara, Calif. Regardless of what he chooses to pursue professionally, studying music should serve him well, as it did her, Hoover said. "If you can understand elements of music and bring that into the workplace, you can communicate and express yourself" across language and cultural boundaries, she said.

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