6. Teresa Ressel
CEO, UBS Securities
American banks aren’t the only ones concerned with Dodd-Frank. As CEO of UBS Securities, Teresa Ressel has been pushing hard for a level regulatory playing field for foreign-owned firms, and for better synchronization with international banking rules. Last year, she helped recruit Sally Miller from the American Bankers Association to serve as CEO of the Institute of International Bankers, where Ressel is a trustee. “As you know, it is unusual for a woman to be selected to head a banking trade association, at least in this country,” says Miller, who was a securities industry expert at the ABA. “Teresa has offered me nothing but constructive guidance and support.” An engineer by training and a former chief compliance officer for Kaiser Permanente, Ressel also was CFO of the U.S. Treasury Department, where she worked from 2001 to 2004. She moved to UBS Securities, becoming CEO in 2007.
"I think in the past there’s been a connotation around the idea of different groups of people needing help, and I think the people who have a little bit more humility—self included—realize we all need help."
7. Candace Browning
Head of Global Research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Under Candace Browning, the equity research arm of Bank of America Merrill Lynch has held onto top rankings in Institutional Investor surveys (No.1 in Asia and Latin America, No. 2 in Europe and No. 3 in the United States). The kudos reflect a wide berth of coverage—3,300 equities, 60 economies and 20 currencies—and a “weekend warrior” mentality that keeps clients and in-house analysts informed around the clock. In August, Browning and her team held a Sunday evening teleconference to walk more than 1,600 clients and analysts through the impact of the U.S. credit downgrade by S&P. Another call that month attracted 500 listeners for an examination of the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole gathering.
"To provide a true meritocracy, it is critical to work in an open environment, where associates of diverse backgrounds, viewpoints and experiences can succeed, and where all associates have the opportunity to achieve their full potential."
8. Diane Offereins
EVP of Payment Services, Discover
After accomplishing her goal of turning Discover into a global payments network, Diane Offereins turned her focus to key developments on the domestic front—namely the Durbin Amendment and the Visa/MasterCard settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. Offereins saw a chance to deepen ties with issuers nervous about interchange, and with merchants eager to route lower-cost transactions. Her visits last year to prospective clients led to the acceptance of Discover by Jamba Juice and other high-volume chains. Discover signed 111 new issuers and marketers of credit, debit and rewards programs in 2010, and had record profits of $141 million.
"Have plans, but make sure you remember that your journey will not be in a straight line. Career paths can be accelerated by flexibility—and receptivity to non-traditional opportunities."
9. Elizabeth Robinson
Treasurer, Goldman Sachs
For Elizabeth Robinson (formerly Beshel), the days of being the youngest-ever global treasurer for Goldman Sachs have graduated into a new era of expectations: she’s now seen as a potential candidate to succeed CFO David Viniar. While there’s no sign Viniar plans an exit soon, the pressure to groom an heir—or heiress—for this key post is growing. Beshel, a partner since 2006, has been managing the firm’s balance sheet, funding, liquidity and capital—as well as relationships with creditors and rating agencies—since Goldman’s IPO in 1999. She also serves on a Goldman committee that explores opportunities and partnerships with minority and women-owned businesses.
"There aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. Therefore it is critical to prioritize ruthlessly in both your job and your personal life to protect what is most important to you. Pick your battles thoughtfully and stick to your guns."
10. Stacy Bash-Polley
Partner, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
Stacy Bash-Polley has been a partner at Goldman Sachs since 2004 and a force in fixed income for years prior as one of the highest-grossing associates in the company’s history. She oversees fixed-income sales in the Americas, the unit contributing the largest portion ($13.7 billion in 2010) of Goldman’s revenue. She also co-chairs the bank’s diversity committee. Her big challenge ahead will be to continue replacing revenue lost to the new Volcker rule restrictions on proprietary trading desks.
"When something gets under my skin—and this goes for personal and business situations—I refuse to let myself react right away. No e-mail reply, no phone call, no face to face… nothing for 24 hours, or at least until I’ve got a handle on my emotions."