Chairman, President and CEO, Deutsche Bank Trust Co.
One big job apparently isn't enough for Deutsche Bank's Susan Skerritt.
Since the start of this year, the German banking giant has named Skerritt to not one but two new leadership posts to go along with her role as head of global transaction banking for the Americas.
In January, she was appointed global head of institutional cash management, where she now oversees all aspects of cash management for the bank's financial institutions clients and is among the executives leading efforts to build stronger defenses against money laundering and terrorist financing. Then, on June 1, Skerritt took over as chairman, president and chief executive of Deutsche Bank Trust Co., the unit that houses the bulk of the bank's U.S. assets. In that capacity, Skerritt is largely responsible for directing Deutsche's U.S. banking strategy.
Skerritt admits she was initially hesitant about accepting the new responsibilities because she worried about spreading herself too thin. But she quickly dismissed those concerns, knowing that her top-notch transaction banking team could hold down the fort while she tended to broader issues of regulation, cybersecurity and faster, safer cross-border payments.
Plus, she added, Deutsche Bank's CEO asked. "When Chief Executive John Cryan asks you to do something, you do it."
Skerritt joined Deutsche Bank in 2013 after seven years with the Bank of New York Mellon. She was brought in to speed up growth in transaction banking and she has done that by by encouraging greater collaboration with other business lines, such as asset and wealth management. The Americas unit now accounts for about 42% of global transaction banking's net income, up from 28% in 2013.
Skerritt is viewed as an authentic and accessible leader, but she acknowledges that earlier in her career others may not have seen her that way. "I tend to be a naturally nice person, but when I first became a leader, I thought I had to behave a certain way — that I had to be tough — and I copied the behavior of others," she said. "Eventually I realized that it didn't feel like me coming through. ...
"I just needed to be myself."