Jane Thompson, former president of Wal-Mart Stores' financial services unit, has joined the board of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a research group in Chicago that focuses on low-income consumers.

"She is joining us at a pivotal time ... as we broaden our mission from meeting the needs of the underbanked to improving Americans' financial health," Jennifer Tescher, the president and chief executive of CFSI, said in a press release this week.

Thompson founded the discount retailer's financial products unit in 2002; she left the company in 2011. Previously she led the credit and home services divisions of Sears, Roebuck & Co. She currently runs her own consulting firm, Jane J. Thompson Financial Services.

Thompson was named by American Banker as Innovator of the Year in 2011 and one of the Most Powerful Women in Finance in 2010.

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