Few women in banking came as close to the eye of financial storm as Anne Finucane. Her functional title is Bank of America global strategy and marketing officer, but her real job is overseeing the bank's public policy, government affairs, consumer policy and corporate social responsibility.
During the height of the crisis, Finucane was one of a handful of senior Bank of America executives making decisions on everything from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to helping shape financial regulation with Senate and House leaders. She also helped integrate Bank of America's acquisitions of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial.
In part due to her guidance, Bank of America became one of the first banks to embrace financial regulatory reform, to support the creation of a consumer protection agency and to eliminate overdraft fees on debit cards.
"It might seem like a detail, but it was a big deal in our industry," she says of the bank's decision to cancel the fee.
During the long days she worked to lead Bank of America through the crisis, Finucane says she was keenly aware that history was being made. "You always felt the magnitude of what we were in the middle of," she says.
The current job fits her skills perfectly because it allows her to synthesize a wide range of information about the world outside of Bank of America and use it to shape the bank's strategy. "You have to have both the knowledge and appetite to take in a whole lot of information and try to telescope that into action," says Finucane, explaining that has to keep track of everything from consumer trends to environmental news. "That's what makes this job fabulous."