Most Powerful Women in Banking: No. 9, Citigroup's Jane Fraser
CEO, Latin America, Citigroup
Last fall, after a pair of strong hurricanes ripped through the Caribbean, and back-to-back earthquakes left parts of Mexico in shambles, Jane Fraser turned her focus to disaster recovery.
The string of natural disasters affected Citigroup employees across the region — and also offered a rare test in leadership for Fraser, the company’s top executive in the region.
She tackled it head-on.
“It was truly heart-wrenching to imagine the uncertainty and fear that thousands of Citi colleagues and their family members experienced,” Fraser said.
Fraser praised her crisis management teams, which “worked tirelessly, around the clock, to support our colleagues on the ground.”
It was a harrowing experience at times. Hours after Hurricane Maria moved out of Puerto Rico, causing a power outage that lasted for months, Citi landed a plane on the island without the assistance of air traffic control. The New York company, which has two offices in Puerto Rico, ultimately delivered 22 tons of food and other supplies, such as gasoline and medicine.
The family of one Citi employee, in particular, received a much-needed emergency supply of insulin.
In Mexico, meanwhile, the company raised $2.5 million for relief efforts through the American Red Cross.
Disaster recovery, of course, is just one part of Fraser’s job. She oversees Citi’s operations and corporate across 23 countries in Latin America. In 2017, her region contributed 14% of the company’s total revenue.
Over the past year, Fraser has focused largely on improving digital technology across the region, upgrading branches and back-end systems, particularly in Mexico, where Citi made a $1 billion investment in 2016.
Fraser said has learned a lot about innovation from her millennial-aged chief of staff, Kate Luft, whom she describes as her mentor.
“When most people think of mentors, they think of people who are older and have more experience than their mentees,” Fraser said. “But in a world where technology is constantly evolving and the millennial generation is at the forefront, the younger generations can offer a wealth of insight and mentorship.”