Susan Fedele is a global banker who earned her stripes from the ground up.

This year, the 43-year-old Ms. Fedele reached a new height in her two-decades-long career, becoming the first woman to be appointed vice chairman of the U.& Council of International Bankers, a trade group of 360 correspondent banks, both U.S.- and foreign-owned, with offices in the United States. Members include the money-center and superregional banks.

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