The financial market meltdown of September 2008 was a career-ender for some Wall Street bankers, but for Karen Peetz and her team at BNY Mellon, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Peetz, who had been head of BNY Mellon's financial markets and treasury services group for three months, was on vacation that fateful week of Sept. 15, when Lehman Brothers failed, a leading money-market mutual fund "broke the buck," and AIG collapsed into the government's arms.

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