11. Charlotte McLaughlin
President and CEO, PNC Capital Markets
Charlotte McLaughlin used to find that new analysts needed two to three years to master their craft. That was the norm under a common approach to training that promoted specialization in a specific product area, without emphasizing exposure to much else. McLaughlin tore up the how-to manual at PNC Capital Markets and helped to fast-track talent development, giving new hires a three-month rotation in each of four businesses—derivatives, foreign exchange, fixed income and the financial institutions group—and building their competencies across product lines. Another example of her penchant for reinvention? She integrated sales and trading, putting staff from both under a senior manager for each product, to retool a team that had doubled in size with the National City merger.
"The best advice that I received came from my first manager. He had a sign in his office that read: Do what is right, not what is easy, and do it once and do it correctly….earn my trust. It sounds so simple, but it is not always easy to execute."
12. Elizabeth Crain
COO, Moelis & Co.
A 20-year veteran of finance, Elizabeth Crain has been at the center of Moelis & Co.’s plans to build out its network of offices in the U.S. and London. Moelis needs both the space and the reach, as the firm climbs up the Dealogic M&A league tables from No. 42 last year to No. 20 through mid-June, with 24 deals valued at $35.5 billion. Crain, whose resumé includes roles at UBS and Merrill Lynch, helped recruit key talent from deep-pocketed rivals; she’s also part of the team incorporating the acquisition of Asia Pacific Advisors to establish a presence in Hong Kong and mainland China. And despite recent rumor-dousing by CEO Ken Moelis regarding his plans for the four-year-old firm, Crain some point could be helping with an IPO of her employer.
"Be comfortable making decisions and recommendations in an ambiguous environment with imperfect information. Assessing all the elements will lead to sound decisions, and you will find colleagues will seek out your views not just because of the decisions you make, but because of the process you follow in making them."
13. Isabelle Ealet
Global Head of Commodities, Goldman Sachs
Last April, as crude oil prices topped $113 a barrel, Goldman Sachs advised clients invested in petroleum commodities to sell. Good call—prices fell below $100 within a month. Such prescient decisions by Goldman’s commodities unit, run by Isabelle Ealet, already had led the company to the top spot in Energy Risk magazine’s annual commodity rankings. Commodities have become an important diversification tool for Goldman, providing opportunities such as the new merchant-investing unit formed in Ealet’s group to focus on the mining industry. Ealet, a French native who works in London, is entering her third decade at Goldman.
14. Diane Schumaker-Krieg
Global Head of Research & Economics, Wells Fargo Securities
Since convicted insider-trader Raj Rajaratnam was frog-marched out of a New York federal court, Diane Schumaker-Krieg has felt a sense of vindication, and optimism. Having long disdained the "expert networks" used by hedge funds like Rajaratnam’s to gather information, Schumaker-Krieg sees the case as step toward strengthening the transparency and credibility of securities research. Schumaker-Krieg has proven, especially over the past year, that quality, independent research can be a business driver. Clients are following the firm’s new indices (including one for municipal bonds), and her unit’s economics team took best overall forecasting honors from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
"Life isn’t about finding yourself— it’s about creating yourself!"
15. Margaret Keane
President & CEO, GE Capital Retail Finance
When GE Capital put its U.S. credit-card business on the block in late 2007, Margaret Keane learned on the fly how to keep employees, and customers, at ease during uncertain times. The sale never happened, but Keane’s leadership skills continue to impress. Her role at GE Capital was broadened this year to include oversight of the sales finance business and GE Money Bank, in addition to the company’s $27 billion-asset retail consumer finance business. She has been making big bets on new mobile applications, and she’s an active mentor to other women in her organization.
"In times of transition, people are looking at the top asking, 'Are they confident?' It became apparent to me that even just physically how I came to work—if I was smiling, if I held my head up high—people would notice."
•25 Most Powerful Women in Finance 1-5
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