Lisa Shim, BankUnited | Most Powerful Women: Next

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Head of consumer and small-business banking

Lisa Shim impressed BankUnited’s Rajinder Singh from the start.

Shim was part of a group of Merrill Lynch investment bankers advising the investor consortium that purchased the failed BankUnited from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2009. “I recruited her to lead corporate development,” said Singh, chairman, president and CEO of the now-$33.6 billion-asset company. “Among a large due diligence team, I was impressed by her analytical skills.”

Shim considers Singh a mentor, but one of the first things he did after hiring her was make it clear her professional development was ultimately her responsibility. “A truth he impressed on me is my career path is no one’s responsibility but my own,” Shim recalled. “It was a liberating statement for me because it empowered me to pursue the areas and initiatives I felt passionate about.”

Shim has moved up at BankUnited continuously over the past decade. Singh added responsibility for corporate marketing to her duties in 2017. He named Shim head of consumer and small-business banking in January 2019.

Her lengthening list of accomplishments has earned the 38-year-old Shim a spot on American Banker’s Next list, an extension of the Most Powerful Women in Banking feature that highlights high-achieving female leaders who are 40 and under.

In keeping with her higher corporate profile, Shim is supervising several projects connected to BankUnited’s 2.0 initiative, including aligning branch staff roles more closely with customer needs, launching the “Go for More” branding campaign and managing a multimillion-dollar digital transformation program.

Shim has not been shy about asking for additional responsibilities. During her marketing assignment, she spearheaded the bank’s adoption of digital advertising.

“Then she approached me to offer her leadership in building and driving the bank’s overall digital strategy,” Singh said.

Her C-suite potential is evident in how she not only brings strategic ideas and solutions to life, but also in her ability to effect changes and empower those around her.
Rajinder Singh, BankUnited’s chairman, president and CEO

The result has been a significant shift of resources toward digital banking as BankUnited works to create a customized digital platform designed around customer needs, with Shim overseeing the initiative.

“What I give credit to for my success is having people around me who support my ideas and recognize my value as a strategic thinker,” Shim said. “From my first hiring manager to my boss today, I have worked for people who have inspired me and given me the room to envision and bring solutions to life.”

Nominating Executive:
Rajinder Singh
Chairman, president and CEO

What he says:
"Lisa has the ability to influence those around her and demonstrate empathy — regardless of position or where the person resides on an organizational chart. Her C-suite potential is evident in how she not only brings strategic ideas and solutions to life, but also in her ability to effect changes and empower those around her.”

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