The 25 Women to Watch in 2005

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No. 1
Barbara Desoer
Global technology, service and fulfillment executive
Bank of America, Charlotte, NC
Years in banking: 28
Rank last year: #19 MPWIB

When Barbara Desoer was named global technology, service & fulfillment executive at Bank of America in 2004, the obscure title seemed to offer more questions than answers. A year later, the idea of replacing the CIO with a business executive puts BofA at the vanguard of a trend in the industry. "I believe what [CEO] Ken Lewis is doing is taking very capable, very senior business executives and putting them in charge of IT," says Janey Place, a former BofA CIO and founder of consultancy Digital Thinking. "It's very creative and it brings...the right focus to a specialty capability."

Desoer manages an annual budget of $6 billion-plus and oversees 50,000 employees-a quarter of the bank's workforce. In the last year, she spurred technology initiatives that led to significant reductions in customer wait time; created an integrated "statements factory" that has more than tripled monthly productivity in that arena; and created a tech solution on track to have branch tellers open 385,000 new card accounts this year. "She's a developer of people, very, very focused and very efficient," says Marc Desoer, Barbara's husband and fellow Haas MBA alum.

A.W. "Tom" Clausen, who led BofA in the early '80s, has said she'll be the first woman to run the bank. "She has the capabilities of running something much bigger than what she's currently running."

No. 2
Leslie Godridge
SVP, Asset Management, Private Client Services and Retail Banking
Bank of New York, New York, NY
Years in banking: 24
Rank last year: Not ranked

Leslie Godridge is the highest-ranking woman at America's oldest bank. As head of asset management, private-client services, as well as retail and regional commercial banking services at Bank of New York, she's responsible for one-fifth of the bank's revenues.

With over two decades of experience at the Bank of New York, one of Godridge's most valuable assets has been her understanding of the firm's many businesses. By combining the units in her division under one roof, she can leverage cross-sales. "She's injecting...the cross-selling success and culture that she developed on the corporate side," says Thomas McCrohan, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott. "She brings to the table a long history on the corporate-banking side, which she grew very successfully."

Since taking over private banking and asset management in 2004, fee income rose 10 percent to $243 million in the first half of 2005, with total assets under management growing at a similar pace to $106 billion. The Smith College graduate with an MBA from New York University helps support many nonprofits. The bank sponsors Miracle on Madison Avenue, a fund-raising bash for the Children's Aid Society of New York. She's a very clear thinking and compassionate woman," says Philip Coltoff, CAS society president.

No. 3
Pamela Montpelier
President and CEO
Strata Bank, Franklin, MA
Years in banking: 24
Rank last year: #15MPWIB

When Pam Montpelier applied for the top job at Strata Bank in 2000, she was only 37 years old and had limited expectations. "I decided to do it for the practice," she says. "It was almost, 'Yeah, right. Like they're going to give me that job'... and I happened to win." It wasn't dumb luck. The bank had been struggling to eke out growth, and higher-ups were impressed when she showed up to her interview armed with a comprehensive strategic plan. "She understands the game," says Mike Sheehan, chairman of Service Bancorp, MHC, Strata's holding company. "She's very goal-oriented. She has a very clear vision as to how she wants to grow the bank."

Indeed, assets that totaled $219 million when Montpelier took over have since grown to more than $350 million. In the second quarter of 2005, earnings increased 56 percent over the same period in 2004. And since 2000, Strata's stock price has exploded from just under $10 to nearly $30 per share.

Montpelier, whom Sheehan says is "obsessed with customer service," has spearheaded an "Excellence Always Matters" campaign to fully integrate a customer-service focus into every business unit. She also scrapped the bank's long-winded mission statement, which few employees even knew, and replaced it with a one-sentence mantra that emphasizes teamwork.

No. 4
Avid Modjtabai
EVP and Director, Human Resources
Wells Fargo, San Francisco, CA
Years in banking: 16
Rank last year: #9 MPWIB

When Avid Modjtabai left Tehran to study industrial engineering at Stanford University over two decades ago, the streets were packed with protesters ushering in the extremist regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Watching the liberal Iran she knew disappear almost overnight taught her to take life as it comes. "One of the lessons I that you can make all the plans you want, but you have to be flexible," says Wells Fargo's recently appointed director of human resources."When new opportunities come your way, grab them."

So when Wells Fargo's CEO Richard Kovacevich and COO Jonathan Stumpf asked her to take over personnel at the nation's fifth-largest bank, the then- head of Internet services cheerfully changed course. Now she helps manage 150,000 employees. Having just taken over the group in June, Modjtabai, 43, says she's still learning the ropes.

Her track record bodes well. While she was head of Internet services for three years, the number of on-line customers almost doubled to 6.8 million, and the percentage of checking accounts accessed online jumped from a third to more than half. "She brought a very strong, rational decision-making emphasis," says Christopher Musto, a Watchfire analyst.

No. 5
Faith Massingale
EVP, International Cards,
Citigroup, New York, NY
Years in banking: 31
Rank last year: #13 WtoW

Faith Massingale's success has hinged on her willingness to take any job, face any challenge, go anywhere. "I look for opportunities," says Citigroup's evp of International Cards. "I always try to make sure that the next job brought me something that I didn't have before. I'm a learning machine."

Massingale has worked at Citigroup since 1974, most recently as manager of Citi Cards North America's Consumer Value and Growth Division. She turned heads by creating a small-business target set for the Advantage card business, which had focused only on consumer markets. Since joining this group in 2004, she has driven impressive foreign growth: So far, 2005 year-to-date international card revenue is up 12 percent and net income has ballooned 23 percent. "The international arena is obviously poised for growth," she says. That could be modesty talking. Svp Angela Curry says Massingale's "ability to deliver healthy and sustainable profits" is widely known within the Citigroup family.

Citigroup is the globe's largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa, with more than 140 million customers in 42 countries. Even though her previous jobs's focus was the U.S., her experience have taught to treat every region and demographic group differently.

No. 6
Donita Koval
President and CEO
Omega Financial, State College, PA
Years in banking: 22
Rank last year: #21 WtoW

As close as Omega Bank and Sun Bancorp were geographically before Sun's acquisition at the hands of Omega, the banks were still vastly different culturally-and that called for a steady hand as an entirely new way of doing business was introduced to new and old staffers. "There were two different executive management teams with different methodologies. [I had to] make sure we're all on the same page," says Donita Koval, Omega's president and CEO of Omega Bank, and president and COO of Omega Financial.

While Sun was located close by in Lewisburg, PA, the consolidation that followed the 2004 deal-which doubled the bank's size to more than $2 billion in assets-was still a challenge. "Blending the cultures is much more time-consuming...than blending operations and procedures," she says. "The hard part is quality of communication." That commitment is paying off. For the first six months of 2005, Omega's net income rose nearly 60 percent over 2004. Common share dividends have also increased to 3.3 percent over the first six months of 2005 compared to the same period last year. "Her coworkers have a great deal of loyalty to her, and that has to be earned," says David Lee, chairman and CEO of Omega Financial Corp.

No. 7
Catherine Keating
President, U.S. Region
JPMorgan Private Bank
New York, NY
Years in banking: 9
Rank last year: Not ranked

In just nine years in the banking industry, Catherine Keating has worked her way to president of the U.S. Region at JPMorgan Private Bank with her "player-coach" management style.

Under that style, she emphasizes a culture where all members of a wealth-management team focus on helping clients instead of just their individual roles. That's especially important with succession issues, which are key to wealth-management these days, because they touch on nearly every aspect of the breadth of talent on a wealth team, including taxes, investments and credit, she says.

Under her leadership, the U.S. region, which represents more than 60 percent of JPMorgan's global private-bank business, set record asset inflows with a 14 percent increase to $190 billion in the year ending in June. Even more illustrative, she says, her clients comprise more than 40 percent of Forbes' annual list of wealthiest Americans.

She cites example where a family was about to sell its business, owned in a trust, and after much discussion, it was determined that the trust could be modified for the customer's benefit. The outcome: $15 million less on the family's tax bill.

No. 8
Ranjana Clark
EVP and Head of Treasury
Services Division
Wachovia Corp., Charlotte, NC
Years in banking: 21
Rank last year: #9 WtoW

Ask anyone and they'll tell you the Check 21 Act means that Treasury Services as it once existed will disappear within the next decade, completely replaced by its electronic progeny. So how is it that Ranjana Clark, evp and head of Wachovia's Treasury Services division, has pulled off a double-digit top and bottom-line growth for two years running? A hearty recipe of constant innovation and "ruthless efficiency," says Clark, who has spent 21 years as a banker, 16 with Wachovia and five in her native India with Deutsche Bank.

Clark's treasury services division at Wachovia is a $2.4 billion business, serving nearly one million institutional and commercial clients as the third-largest provider of treasury services in the U.S. In 2004, Clark generated a 14 percent increase in revenue and a 39 percent increase in net income. "The biggest challenge is probably how to show revenue growth in a slow-to-declining-growth industry, while cutting we can consistently show bottom-line, double-digit growth," Clark says.

Two innovations she introduced in the last year have customers queued up: a remote deposit - capture product and an on-line payables product for business. But Wachovia is buttressing these offerings with an efficiency initiative that has Clark trimming $100 million from Treasury's expenses by 2008.

No. 9
Betsy Cohen
Founder & CEO,
Bancorp Bank Wilmington, DE, and Philadelphia, PA
Years in banking: 31
Rank last year: Not ranked

Betsy Cohen doesn't like to call herself a serial entrepreneur, but having founded two public banks, a real-estate investment trust and lending institutions in places such as Hong Kong and Brazil, the label fits.

In 1974, as a 32-year-old lawyer and mother of two, she became Pennsylvania's first female bank CEO by starting Jefferson Bank, which became Philadelphia's largest bank, with 600 employees and $1.8 billion in assets. When she left a quarter century later, it was to build Bancorp, a virtual private label bank. "I enjoy finding an idea, understanding it and building a business around it," says Cohen, 64, explaining that she always follows a pattern by looking for underserved borrowers.

Bancorp has no branches, and provides Internet-based, unbranded financial services to companies that compete with banks, but don't have their own banking capabilities. "It's a fairly unique model," says Thomas Doheny, analyst at Sandler O'Neill. "It has the potential to be much more profitable and efficient than the average bank."

The model is working. Since openings its virtual doors five years ago, Bancorp has attracted $737 million in assets, $558 million in loans and $557 million in deposits. Annual growth in all three categories exceeded 10 percent in each of the past two years. Earnings per share rose to 12 cents a share in the second quarter of 2005 from eight cents in the same period two years ago.

No. 10
Annette Court
RBS Insurance, Edinburgh, UK
Years in banking: 11
Rank last year: Not ranked

Annette Court made RBS Insurance what it is today. Literally. The UK's second largest insurer was formed in 2003, shortly after Court, then CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland's Direct Line insurance unit, orchestrated the acquisition of insurer Churchill.

By taking over Churchill's 6.5 million policies, and combining them under one roof with RBS's existing insurance divisions, including Green Flag, Privilege, NIG and others, Court turned RBS into the UK's largest car and second-largest home and travel insurer. Due to the Churchill acquisition, RBS Insurance's revenues jumped 52 percent to ?4.9 billion in 2004 from 2003, while pre-tax income rose 42 percent to ?862m. In the first half of this year, growth returned to a slower, organic pace. RBS Insurance pre-tax income rose 6 percent on the year to ?435 million as of June 30, contributing more than 10 percent of the bank's bottom line. At the same time, policies in the first half of this year rose 5 percent to 22 million.

"What RBS Insurance does very well is creative destruction," says Ian Smillie, UK bank analyst at ABN Amro in London. "If a product is not working they rebuild it and find a new space for it so that it does work."

No. 11
Lori Hricik
Head of Treasury Services
JPMorgan Chase, New York, NY
Years in banking: 30
Rank last year: Not ranked

As American investors flock to stocks and real-estate ventures, cash management remains a far less sexy endeavor. But don't tell that to Lori Hricik, who, as JPMorgan Chase's evp and head of Treasury Services, has managed to drive double-digit growth. And she has done it even while overseeing the integration of Bank One's cash-management business, which she inherited through the bank's 2004 merger with JPMorgan Chase. "Some of the biggest challenges were around technology," says Hricik. "Both banks had large treasury-management businesses."

Under Hricik's watch, JPMorgan Chase claims the largest cash-management business in the world. So far in 2005, net revenue has grown to $682 million, with aggregate revenue (including Treasury Services revenue recorded in other lines of business) increased by 13 percent to $1.3 billion. Meanwhile, the number of Automated Clearing House transactions grew by 21 percent, clearing volumes increased 15 percent and wholesale card usage increased by 12 percent.

That led to the need to synchronize global assets into a uniform matrix. In the last year, it had complex merger-related conversions of U.S. dollar and euro-clearing platforms. "Both proceeded seamlessly, giving us tremendous scale in the market."

No. 12
Lynda Nahra
President and CEO
Community West Bank, Goleta, CA
Years in banking: 35
Rank last year: Not ranked

When Lynda Nahra became the president and CEO of Community West Bank (then Goleta National Bank) in 2000, her first order of business was, as she puts it, "creating a new culture. The former culture was not conducive to people's opinions being valued." As someone who has come up through the ranks-beginning as junior to a teller at Bank of America in 1970-Nahra knows people on the front lines are often the most forward-thinking. To put it simply: "I like to hire people smarter than me," she says.

If that's the case, the team at California-based Community West Bank is certifiably genius. Nahra, also president and CEO of Community West Bancshares, is a member of both CWB and CWBC's boards of directors, and serves on CWB's loan, asset/liability, compliance, management succession, and disclosure committees. Under her guidance, the company had a net income increase of 76 percent from 2003 to 2004, and a 15 percent net loan growth and eight percent total asset growth for the second quarter. "She's a very, very hard worker," says Robert Bartlein, CWB's chairman. "She lives and breathes that bank."

No. 13
Cara Heiden
Division President, National Consumer and Institutional Lending
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage,
Des Moines, IA
Years in banking: 24
Rank last year: Not ranked

In the 1980s, Mark Oman, then head of Norwest Mortgage, heard tales about Cara Heiden, then CFO of Norwest's Iowa bank, that sounded too good to be true. "There were so many glowing things said about her, I thought, 'I've got to meet this woman.'" In 1991, he made her CFO of what's now Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Today, the effervescent Heiden, 49, is president of national consumer and institutional lending. "Cara's very bright and charismatic. People naturally like her," says Oman, group evp for Wells Fargo. "And she's the most powerful woman in mortgage banking. The size and complexity of her business is huge."

Wells Fargo's mortgage unit boasts five million customers and services a portfolio of $906 billion. The company has ranked no. 1 in originations in eight of the past 10 years. Wells Fargo doesn't break profits out by unit, but mortgage's contribution has grown steadily, Oman says, due largely to Heiden, who oversees 28,000 employees, and everything from loan production and delivery to servicing. "I've always worked a bit harder and longer," than those around me, she says, crediting that work ethic to managers who placed her in "stretch assignments." As a leader, she emphasizes the "power of the team," and sets "aggressive goals" for employees.

No. 14
Linda Bowden
Wealth Management Managing Executive
Wachovia Wealth Management, Glen Rock, NJ
Years in banking: 25
Rank last year: Not ranked

Linda Bowden's previous career was in teaching, and even in the banking world, she says she still benefits from her institutional counseling degree, even more so than her MBA.

Institutional counseling, the study of behavior within organizations, was a great foundation for management in today's changing business world, she says. Most people her age -she's 54-have worked their entire careers in hierarchical firms, she says.

Bowden has been in her current job as managing director for the Atlantic Region since November 2004, so there are no yearly comparisons. But the region had the fastest-growing earnings growth in the company, including deposit growth of 35 percent over her last 18 months in that post.

She now oversees the selling and servicing of $13.5 billion in loans and $13 billion in deposits and plays a key role in driving the growth in the company's $65 billion in assets under management.

Understanding other people's viewpoints is key. "Everyone has a point of view and most people are trying to do a good job," she says. Anyone could have a nugget of information that can be important, she added, and the good manager is one who fosters an environment that uses all of those good pieces.

No. 15
Jessica Palmer
Head of Risk Management,
Corporate and Investment Banking
Citigroup, New York, NY
Years in banking: 34
Rank last year: Not ranked

To say Jessica Palmer's job is complicated would be a grave understatement. As managing director and head of risk management at Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, Palmer must oversee risk in some 100 countries representing $21.8 billion in 2004 revenue. It helps that Palmer is a global citizen herself, having grown up in Kenya and spent her college years and early banking career in London. "I really have a good feel for geopolitical events around the world," she says. "I have some feeling and understanding of the regions."

That has helped Palmer strike a balance between managing risk and preserving steady growth: In the first half of 2005, Citigroup posted global revenue of $11.19 billion compared with $10.96 billion in the same period of 2004. "She has got a lot of geographical breadth and product breadth," says Palmer's boss, David Bushnell, Citi's senior risk officer. "That's a nice fit. Her experience in business is great for us."

One of Palmer's goals since taking the job in December 2003 has been to decentralize risk-management decisions when appropriate. That way, regional managers can use their local expertise while adhering to the broad strategic vision hatched from headquarters. "It's a constant balancing act to not sit in New York and dictate," she says, noting that some central risk policies "are not going to make it when you get out to Pakistan."

No. 16
Karen Hail
Senior EVP and COO
MidSouth Bank, Lafayette, LA
Years in banking: 34
Rank last year: Not ranked

In Hurricane Katrina aftermath, Karen Hail's hospitality habit kicked in. The COO of Lafayette, LA-based MidSouth Bank hosted a family from New Orleans and let two evacuated banks set up in her lobby. "We're just trying to be good neighbors," she says.

Hail, 52, always puts people first. The single mother of four adopted children, says it's the secret of her success at MidSouth Bank, which she joined in 1984 and grew from a one-office start-up with $4.5 million in assets into a $610 million bank with 25 locations.

"A lot of bankers get away from the basics: that customer service is No. 1, and that you try to hire the best people possible," she says. The best people, in her eyes, are those who make customers feel special. "You can teach people the work and the product, but you can't teach them to be nice."

MidSouth says it's now the most profitable bank in Louisiana on a tax adjusted return-on-equity basis. Net income in the first half of 2005 was $4 million, or 78 cents, up 16 percent on the year. She lifted the net interest margin by more than 10 percent annually in both 2003 and 2004, and she's on track to do the same again this year. "Karen is an integral part to our success," says. CEO Rusty Cloutier "We wouldn't be one of the top banks in the country without Karen Hail pulling on that plough every day and making it happen." Hail is president of the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

No. 17
JoAnn Bourne
Group Head, Commercial Deposits and Treasury Management
Union Bank of California, Los Angeles, CA
Years in banking: 24
Rank last year: #19 WtoW

During her college years at Malibu's Pepperdine University, JoAnn Bourne dreamed of traveling the globe. So upon graduating, she joined then-British owned Union Bank of California in the hope that she would get exotic foreign assignments. The British then sold the bank to an American firm. "I didn't end up becoming an international banker," she says, "and that's OK." Instead, Bourne, who just turned 50, has helped hone Union Bank's relentless focus on California and its presence in several niche commercial markets.

As evp of the Commercial Deposits and Treasury Management Group, Bourne manages Union Bank's second most profitable group with noticeable finesse. "She's quite brilliant in this whole arena," says Philip Flynn, Union Bank's COO. Bourne also spearheads three major initiatives: to shift clients from paper to automated and Internet platforms, to improve cross-selling ratios and to upgrade payment systems.

Under Bourne's watch, deposits are up by 11 percent and operating income is expected to soar to $412.3 million, or 23 percent, in 2005. "You have to be able to execute well," Bourne says. Otherwise, "plans are just a couple of pieces of paper on the shelf... I set very clear expectations, and then I do everything I can to help support everyone working for me."

No. 18
Michelle Van Dyke
Regional President
Fifth Third Bank (Michigan)
Grand Rapids, MI
Years in banking: 20
Rank last year: Not ranked

Michelle Van Dyke says that removing one's ego is the most important, and often-neglected, step to becoming a great manager. But that's exactly what she tries to do as regional president of Fifth Third (Michigan). She has operational responsibility for the western affiliate, in addition to overseeing the state.

Since being named president and CEO of the bank's western Michigan area in June 2004, that group has increased assets by 5.9 percent to $9.3 billion. In year-over-year comparisons, net income increased 7.7 percent, total deposits have grown 14.3 percent and loans are up 24 percent. The western Michigan affiliate has been the leader at the company in terms of generating consumer loans, increasing accounts and balances over the past year by three percent and 32 percent, respectively.

The bank's affiliate business model enables it to make operational decisions more quickly than a business-line model. Still, executives oversee business lines at the Cincinnati headquarters for product development and to provide standardization.

The affiliate model suits her just fine. Raised in Ohio, she has lived in Michigan for 20 years and is raising her own kids there. In fact, the 41-year-old says she wants to stay there for the remainder of her career. "This is home for us." That contentment is an important factor in her management. She says her overriding goal is to have all of her employees love their jobs.

No. 19
Martha R. Simmons
EVP and National Retail Production Manager
SunTrust Mortgage, Richmond, VA
Years in banking: 34
Rank last year: Not ranked

"There's probably not anybody, in my opinion, that knows as much about mortgages and making a deal-and being able to make a decision and get it done-than Martha Simmons," says Katherine Dunlap, executive director of the Gainesville-Hall County Chamber of Commerce in Georgia. She would know: The two advanced together at a savings and loan that eventually merged with SunTrust Mortgage, and Dunlap likes to say Simmons "came up from part-time kid into big-time banker."

As SunTrust's evp and national retail production manager, Simmons directs the origination process and closing of more than 120,000 loans and some $18 billion in annual mortgage volume, including construction/perm loans (up 75 percent in year-to-date 2005) and joint ventures (up 30 percent in the last year). In addition, she oversees the strategy of the retail mortgage channel, which includes 135 offices from New York to Miami. Overall, the company's gains resulted in a 25 percent increase in market share year over year; annual production this year is predicted to be 42 percent better than that of 2004 and 11 percent better than that of 2003 - the industry's biggest year. "We set a strategic plan that called for aggressive growth," Simmons says.

No. 20
Debbie Innes
EVP, Manager of Retail Banking and Treasury Management Services
Amegy Bank of Texas, Houston, TX
Years in banking: 25
Rank last year: Not ranked

Debbie Innes has taken the staid business of cash management and turned it into a true business driver at Amegy Bank of Texas.

Innes, 46, spends much of her time talking to corporate customers to learn what types of services they need-and tries to give provide them. Sometimes it is a service that banks traditionally don't provide; sometimes the technology doesn't even exist when she embarks on a plan; and often times the client becomes a customer of other Amegy services, too.

Amegy's treasury-management fee income was $20.4 million in 2004, about 21 percent of the bank's total fee income. Services billed increased 12 percent over the previous year. She just recently assumed responsibility for the retail business line earlier this year, so there are no year-over-year comparisons under her guidance, but she now oversees the business lines that represent 70 percent of the bank's 2004 revenue.

"There are plenty of good leaders around, but she's passionate about her work and that's something you don't find everyday," says Paul Posoli, president of Calpine Energy Services, who sits with Innes on the board of the 'I Have A Dream Foundation.'

No. 21
Becky Kearns
President, Resort Banking
Zions First National Bank
Salt Lake City, UT
Years in banking: 30
Ranking last year: Not ranked

During Salt Lake City's Olympic Winter games three years ago, Becky Kearns could be seen trudging through snow to deliver cash to her clients. The games had shut down many streets in Park City, Utah, the small ski resort where her business is based, and she wanted to make sure customers were served. "We weren't trying to say, 'Look, this is Zions Bank and we're great.' It was more of a community effort," says Kearns, 47, who started Zions' resort bank in 1998 and has since turned it into Utah's largest, with three branches in Park City and a new office in Sun Valley, Idaho.

In the past five years, annual net income at the resort bank tripled to $4.4 million as of August 2005, with loans up 242 percent to $234 million and deposits up 169 percent to $197 million. Between kids, work, and training for marathons, Kearns finds time to volunteer for a dozen non-profit organizations. Says Bill Malone, executive director of Park City Chamber of Commerce, "Becky is a very popular person in our community."

No. 22
Lori Chillingworth
SVP and Manager, Women's
Financial Group
Zions First National Bank
Salt Lake City, UT
Years in banking: 20
Rank last year: Not ranked

Female business owners in Salt Lake City like Zions Bank. A lot. When other banks dismiss their ambitions and refuse to lend them money, the Zions Women's Financial Group comes through."The attitude is not the same when you approach another bank," says Cindy Collins, the Salt Lake chapter head of the National Association of Women Business Owners, who borrowed from Zions four years ago to start an interior design firm. Several of NAWBO's members were turned down by other banks, she explains, but obtained a loan from Zions and went to build million-dollar companies.

Credit goes to Lori Chillingworth, 43, who started her financial career 20 years ago as a divorced single mother with no college degree, working as drive-in teller, and now runs a booming lending operation.

"When women stop coming to me, saying 'I went to another financial institution and I was treated so poorly I decided to come here,' I'll feel like I've been a success," says Chillingworth, who was recruited from Key Bank eight years ago to start Utah's first women's banking group. Net income in the group more than tripled in the past two years, deposits at $10 million and loans at $46 million.

No. 23
Garnetta Massey
SVP, Head of Business Development and Marketing
The Harbor Bank of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Years in banking: 30
Rank last year: Not ranked

The Harbor Bank of Maryland, the nation's eighth-largest black-owned bank is becoming even bigger with a little bit of help from sales and marketing head Garnetta Massey. A big believer in the power of branding, Massey oversaw the launch of catchy slogans, a friendly Web site, and new community programs that helped spread the Harbor Bank name into previously untapped territories. "In the past we didn't do a lot of marketing since people would come to us because of who we were," says Massey, pointing out that African-American customers were attracted to Harbor because of its minority ownership. "But times have changed. You really have to go after your customers."

In addition to producing the "Big Bank Services With Little Bank Spirit" advertising campaign, Massey has helped introduce new products such as no-hassle checking, telephone banking, surcharge free ATMs and a direct mail give-away promotion which brought in new accounts and home- equity loans.

Assets at the Baltimore-based bank grew 3.7 percent from a year ago to a record $242 million, as of July. Loans grew 11.4 percent to $180 million and deposits rose 3.6 percent to $217 million. Earnings rose nearly 30 percent in the second quarter.

No. 24
Sonia Baxendale
Senior EVP, Retail Markets
CIBC, Toronto, ON
Years in banking: 15
Rank last year: Not ranked

A management reshuffling at CIBC left Sonia Baxendale as head of retail markets in April, replacing Jill Denham. Baxendale declined to comment, and CIBC was itself tight-lipped about the move, saying only Denham had left "to pursue other interests."

Michael Goldberg, the financial services analyst at Desjardins Securities who attended a recent forum, says that the bank wants to reverse the business mix on the retail side that Denham presided over, due to high loan losses in unsecured personal lending. "They don't feel confident they have the expertise to underwrite and manage this product."

So Baxendale is looking to flip the current mix of 55 percent unsecured lending and 40 percent secured lending, to 55 percent secured lending and 40 percent unsecured. "They see a better risk reward in secured lending, mostly real estate. They've had poor credit experience with the unsecured product and they're going to pull in their horns," Goldberg says.

Baxendale, whose initiative comes on the heels of CIBC's $1.9 billion third-quarter loss due to Enron-related settlements, said at the forum that the bank will expand use of 1,200 advisors licensed to sell mutual funds by having them more active within the retail branch network. CIBC's intention, Goldberg says, is to appeal more to wealthy clients.

No. 25
Terri Dial
Group Executive Director,
UK Retail Banking
Lloyds TSB Group, London, England
Years in banking: 28
Rank last year: Not ranked

Terri Dial doesn't want to talk about why she left Wells Fargo after 28 years in 2001; or what it was that in June drew her back into banking as group executive director of UK retail banking at Lloyds TSB. True to form, Dial is not one to mince words. And she has no plans to change her take-charge leadership style, no matter which continent she's on."I think they bought Terry Dial, and I'm coming in and I'm being Terri Dial," she says.

Her commitment to what works is warranted. After rising to president and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank and evp of Wells Fargo & Co., she resigned in 2001 when the chance to succeed CEO Richard Kovacevich seemed unlikely. But she's back on the scene, parachuted into the UK market at the behest of fellow American, Lloyds CEO Eric Daniels. The challenges of the UK market may seem like low-hanging fruit to a retail guru like Dial; consumer products and services in the UK are considerably "more opaque" and "hard for consumers to understand," when compared to the U.S., Dial says.

Since her arrival, her brash-typically American, perhaps-personality has drawn a nod of understanding from colleagues, who were warned of her tendencies when the UK press reported that Dial's nickname in San Francisco was "the human cyclone." She laughs: "I don't know where [the nickname] came from, but it's not a bad thing. My pace is a little bit more aggressive than probably people have been used to, and I think they just go, 'Oh yeah, that's right, she's that human cyclone.' So it's actually served me well."

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