Mary McDowell's experience running 10 marathons is the sort of endurance training that's well suited to today's credit crisis - which just seems to go on and on and on. She is president and CEO of CitiFinancial North America, which offers personal loans, credit cards, auto loans, real estate refinancing and credit insurance to predominately non prime borrowers in the U.S.

That market might not seem ideally suited to the economic climate, but McDowell's group is actually thriving. CitiFinancial achieved revenues of $5.71 billion in the 12 months ended March 2008, compared to $5.15 billion the year earlier for a growth rate of 10.9 percent. Meanwhile, CitiFinancial's market share for installment loans increased to 26 percent in the first quarter from 22 percent the previous year.

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