Most Powerful Women in Banking: No. 11, Ally Bank's Diane Morais

Register now

President, Consumer and Commercial Banking Products, Ally Bank

Over the past year, several big banks have launched digital-only franchises. At Ally Bank — a pioneer in online banking — Diane Morais is in charge of fending off the competition.

When Ally was started in 2009, it was one of the only shows in town for customers looking for the convenience — and higher savings rates — that come with an online bank. But as competition for deposits has heated up across the industry, big names from Goldman Sachs to Citizens Financial Group have also entered the market.

Morais has set Ally apart by offering customers a full-service online bank, rather than a just place for to park excess savings. Under her direction, for instance, Ally over the past two years has added home mortgages, online investment accounts and a cash-back credit card to its offerings.

Additionally, Ally has given consumers a range of high-tech controls, including the ability to disable online shopping or set monthly spending thresholds on their cards. Last fall, the company was one of the first in the industry to integrate with Alexa, Amazon’s personal voice assistant.

See the most recent rankings:
Most Powerful Women in Banking
Women to Watch
Most Powerful Women in Finance

The results speak for themselves. Ally added 200,000 new customers in 2017, an increase of 16% from a year earlier. Retail deposits, meanwhile, climbed 17%, to $77.9 billion.

Morais, for her part, has a simple approach to leadership, saying that “bringing a high level of passion and positive energy” to work can make all the difference.

“When you love what you do, it inspires people to rally around you, creating an environment where people work harder and are more creative,” she said.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.