KeyCorp's $4.1 billion purchase of First Niagara — the industry's second-largest acquisition by deal value since the financial crisis — has highlighted the regional banking company's lineup of seasoned female executives.

For example, Maria Teresa Tejada, Key's chief credit officer, managed the credit risk diligence for the deal, which closed in July, and is now working on the integration strategy. She also has been an advocate for ensuring cultural integration as a critical component of risk management.

Carmen McClennon, who oversees integrated channel strategy, was chosen to lead the integration of the consumer segment with First Niagara. She is using analytics to identify and eliminate problems that cause customers to leave a bank once a deal is completed.

Others playing important roles are Amy Brady, the chief information officer, and Angela Mago, co-head of Key Corporate Bank and group head of KeyBank Real Estate Capital.

"Our diverse leadership is participating in what is the single largest initiative really in our history and that particular team is participating from all kinds of levels," said Trina Evans, director of Key's Corporate Center, which encompasses brand-related functions such as marketing, corporate communications, philanthropy and community development. "We are all leading significant parts of the acquisition."

For her part, Evans is overseeing Key's five-year commitment to lend $16.5 billion to low- and moderate-income communities in several states in the Midwest, West and Northwest beginning next year. The Cleveland company worked with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition on the investment plan and Evans said she hopes it serves as a model for others.

"I do believe we have set a higher bar and showed that it is possible to balance mission with margin," Evans said.

Key, one of the few large banking companies in the United States led by a woman (Chairman and Chief Executive Beth Mooney), also stands out in other ways. It has a long-term commitment to working with a diverse group of suppliers, has implemented new recruiting strategies to increase its hiring of women and has extended the reach of its employee resource groups.

The company has been able to recruit a diverse pool of talent in part because of its long-standing commitment to inclusion, Evans said. Each business line has a plan to improve inclusion and diversity, and a diversity council with representatives from each business shares best practices.

Headquarters: Cleveland

2015 Financial highlights:
Assets: $95.1 billion
ROE: 8.63%
ROA: 0.99%

Female representation among corporate officers: 25%

Female representation on operating committee: 27%

The Team: Amy Brady, Amy Carlson, Margot Copeland, Robin Cottingham, Trina Evans, Annette Hazapis, Harsha Kapur, Angela Mago, Ruth Mahoney, Carmen McClennon, Beth Mooney, Laurie Muller-Girard, Carol Nelson, Poppie Parish, Maria Teresa Tejada, Kathleen Terrell

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