1) ZOE CRUZ, Co-President // Morgan Stanley
When it comes to making money and surviving political tumult, Zoe Cruz, co-president of Morgan Stanley, is clearly someone with excellent instincts.
She has been at Morgan Stanley since 1982, rising to managing director in 1990 and making her mark in the foreign-exchange and fixed-income divisions. From 2000 to 2005, she was worldwide head of fixed-income, commodities and foreign exchange. Under her leadership, the division became a major profit center for the investment bank.
Cruz first rose to the position of co-president during the bitter power struggle between former CEO Philip Purcell and the Group of 8, former Morgan executives whose shareholder clout and assault on Purcell drew very public attention. He fired the popular president of Morgan Stanley, Stephan Newhouse, appointing Cruz and Stephen Crawford as co-presidents. Three month later, in June of 2005, Purcell resigned, throwing Cruz's future at the firm in serious doubt. When Purcell's replacement, John Mack, added the word "acting" to her title, insiders assumed she would not survive the shakeout. But Cruz has prevailed, proving doubters wrong and winning over Mack, who removed the "acting" designation in early 2006.
Today Cruz is co-president with Robert Sculley and is in charge of the firm's largest business-institutional securities-as well as global wealth management. In her first year, Morgan 's assets rose 25 percent to break $1 trillion for the first time.
2) PAULA ROSPUT REYNOLDS, CEO // Safeco
As president and CEO of Safeco, a Fortune 500 property and casualty-insurance company headquartered in Seattle, Paula Rosput Reynolds is at the top of her field. In 2006, the firm had $6.2 billion in revenues, 7,600 employees, and The Wall Street Journal reported that she was the only woman among the top 50 highest-paid executives in the financial-services industry.
Before joining Safeco in January 2006, Reynolds was chairman, president and CEO of AGL Resources, an Atlanta energy-services holding company that includes six natural-gas utility companies, wholesale services and energy investments. During her five-year tenure as CEO, AGL Resources expanded from a regional gas utility to an integrated, multi-state energy company. Under her leadership, the company doubled its share price and market capitalization, and increased its dividend 37 percent.
Reynolds had been president and CEO of Houston's Duke Energy North America, which operates power-generating facilities across the U.S., and as svp of Pacific Gas Transmission, which owns and operates a natural-gas pipeline that runs through the Pacific Northwest.
Safeco's results of late have struggled. Second-quarter 2007 year-over-year revenue and earnings both declined and the stock slid six percent. According to Yahoo Finance, 20 of the 22 analysts covering the firm have a "hold" or "sell" recommendation on the stock.
After graduating from Wellesley College, she was an economist with a Boston consulting firm before she entered the energy industry in 1979. Today she serves on the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises and Delta Air Lines, as well as Safeco.
3) SUSAN ULICK, Senior Managing Director, Head of Equity Investments // TIAA-CREF
As head of equity investments, Susan Ulick is responsible for all of TIAA-CREF's equity assets in retirement funds, individual and institutional mutual funds and personal annuities. She oversees global equity analysts and portfolio managers with expertise in both quantitative and active management.
She joined TIAA-CREF-which has $406 billion in assets under management-in 2000 as head of global research. In that role, she was responsible for all of TIAA-CREF's equity research to support equity portfolios in retirement funds and for the hiring, training and development of the pension fund's global equity research team. She was also responsible for the quality and content of the fundamental research effort and valuation methodology to support the organization's active portfolio-management initiatives. She worked with a team of 45 analysts, economists and research assistants to follow industries and companies worldwide.
Ulick started her career at Sanford C. Bernstein and then went to J.P. Morgan in 1987, where she spent the next 13 years. Her first post at J.P. Morgan was as a vp following commodities, mining and metals. In 1995 she became head of the investment bank's U.S. research team and then rose to global research head two years later.
She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in economics from Columbia School of Arts and Sciences.
4) ANNE STAUSBOLL, Chief Operating Investment Officer // CalPERS
Anne Stausboll was appointed chief operating investment officer for the California Public Employees' Retirement System, better known as CalPERS, in 2004. She works closely with senior investment officers to implement investment strategies for real estate, alternative investment, and public-market portfolios, including the development of portfolio trade and management systems for CalPERS, which has $244 billion of assets under management.
She also oversees the search process for external managers, advisors and pension consultants; coordinates internal investment policy; and represents CalPERS on investment-related legislation at the state and federal levels.
Before coming to CalPERS, Stausboll was chief deputy treasurer to California State Treasurer Phil Angelides, beginning in July 2000. As chief deputy, she directed the policies, programs and operations of the treasurer's office, which had more than 200 employees and a budget of $20 million-plus. She also led a team on national corporate reform for the office, which is responsible for the public-investment and cash-management functions of the state of California. Previously, Stausboll toiled for six years in CalPERS legal office, including two years as deputy general counsel.
Stausboll received her BA degree in English from Oberlin College and her law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. She serves on the Ceres Board and the governing board for the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. She is also on the Toigo Foundation Advisory Board.
5) CLARA FURSE, CEO // London Stock Exchange
Clara Furse was appointed CEO of the London Stock Exchange in January 2001 and since then has found her exchange the perennial object of acquisition speculation. Reportedly she has a stubborn streak, and that has helped twice fend off the unwanted advances of Nasdaq, which has gained a 30-percent stake in the LSE but has yet to snag the prize it so obviously seeks.
Furse got her start at Phillips & Drew, now UBS, in 1983 as a commodity broker, rising through the ranks until 1998, when she left to become group chief executive of Credit Lyonnais Rouse; she held that post for two years before joining the LSE.
While Nasdaq's angling for the LSE has often grabbed headlines, Furse has accomplished much more than keeping the exchange independent. Under her leadership, the LSE has become the European center-and increasingly the global center-of IPO activity. The value of new issues on the LSE rose 87 percent in the first half of 2007 to $33.7 billion from the same period a year ago, Dealogic says. That compares with $40.2 billion of IPOs in the Americas, up 13 percent from $35.6 billion a year ago.
On another front, Furse is guiding the LSE to make its own acquisitions. The LSE is planning to buy the Italian exchange Borsa Italiana for about $2.1 billion, beating out a rival offer from the New York Stock Exchange. The acquisition, set to be completed this month, would give London exposure to the fast-growing derivatives business while bulking it up against any future takeover attempts. And the world knows that Nasdaq will try again.
6) ANNE DIAS, Griffin Founder and Managing Partner // Aragon Global
The leadership world of hedge funds is not populated by many women, so it's interesting that one of the few leaders of a hedge fund is also of a relatively tender age. Still under 40, Anne Dias Griffin founded her Aragon Global in 2001; today it is the largest woman-run hedge fund, managing about $100 million.
Griffin attended Harvard Business School and worked at Goldman Sachs and Fidelity in London before joining Soros Fund Management, where she was an analyst and portfolio manager. At Soros she covered the consumer and financial services industries and managed a long/short portfolio of financial-services stocks. After Soros Fund Management closed in 2000, she joined Viking Global Investors, a hedge fund, and shortly thereafter struck out on her own to start Aragon, which invests globally with a focus on industrials, telecommunications, media and the Internet, consumer and financials. She got an early vote of confidence from Julian Robertson, who ran Tiger Management Corp. in the 1990s and was one of the first investors in Aragon.
Griffin is married to Kenneth C. Griffin, managing director and CEO of Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago hedge fund. The power couple announced in 2006 they would donate $19 million to help build a new wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.
7) CANDACE BROWNING, President, Global Research // Merrill Lynch
The globalization of capital markets poses many challenges for financial-services firms; no where is that more evident than at a place like Merrill Lynch, which must serve clients and evaluate companies from Singapore to Sao Paulo, from London to Los Angeles. Merrill must be creative in its approach, and as president of global research at Merrill Lynch, Candace Browning is in the thick of it.
Browning joined Merrill Lynch in 1990 and assumed her current role in 2003-tacking on the title of president in July-after serving for two years as head of equity research for the Americas. Today her group is charged with providing top-quality investment insights and ideas, industry and company overviews and asset-allocation recommendations. Merrill has about 540 equity analysts globally. The entire research franchise has more than 800 people divided into four disciplines: fundamental equity, fixed income and equity linked, economics and FX, and investment strategy. "My job is allocating resources appropriately across the globe and matching that up with the commercial opportunities of Merrill Lynch," Browning says.
She took a big risk when she merged the research-management teams for emerging and developed markets. "This allowed us to better service the emerging markets, since we could more easily allocate resources and dollars into emerging markets," she says. For instance, an airline analyst based in New York now covers the U.S. and Latin America. Analysts were added in Russia, Dubai and Turkey. "It's worked out very, very well," she says. "It's all about recognizing where the growth is."
8) BODIL ARLANDER, Senior Managing Director and Partner // Bear Stearns Merchant Banking
Bodil Arlander joined Bear Stearns in 1997, where she is a senior managing director and partner at Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, the private-equity arm of Bear Stearns. Her expertise is in retail-soft line and consumer products-apparel and personal care.
The group raised a $2.7 billion fund in 2006. Portfolio companies include Seven For All Mankind, Transamerican Auto Parts, Aeropostale, Hand Innovations, Integrated Circuit Systems, Nice-Pak, NRT and Standard Holdings. Arlander helped arrange the $154 million buyout of clothing chain New York & Co. and currently serves on its board.
Prior to joining Bear Stearns, Arlander was a vp in the mergers and acquisitions group of Lazard Freres.
An avid biker, she has reportedly participated in 25 or so Ironman triathlons, which include a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a marathon. She holds degrees from New York University and the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration.
9) WEI CHRISTIANSON, China Chief Executive // Morgan Stanley
Wei Christianson joined Morgan Stanley in 2006 to become China Chief Executive, but while she may be relatively new to the post, she is a familiar face at Morgan Stanley. She followed Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack to Credit Suisse in 2002, left in 2004 following his ouster, and rejoined him at Morgan after a stint at Citigroup, where she had been head of investment banking in China.
Tops on her to-do list in China is finding ways to better access the world's fourth-largest economy, behind the U.S., Japan and Germany. For instance, although Morgan Stanley owns a third of domestic investment bank China International Capital Corp., it still cannot trade domestic stocks on its own.
In 1983, the Beijing native was the first student from China to graduate from Amherst College, and she was awarded a full scholarship to Columbia University's Law School.
10) ABIGAIL JOHNSON, Head of Fidelity Employee Services // Fidelity
Handicapping succession plans at Fidelity is a virtual cottage industry, and right now one internal candidate to become the next CEO is a woman-notably Fidelity chair Edward "Ned" Johnson's daughter. No matter the outcome, Abigail Johnson is already among the most powerful women on Wall Street.
Johnson has long been considered the favorite candidate to succeed her father and eventually lead the firm founded by her grandfather in 1946, which now manages $1.4 trillion in assets. That would seem to be a pretty straightforward succession plan, but after leading Fidelity's core mutual-fund business for five years, Johnson was transferred to the lower-profile retirement benefits position in 2005 after results in some of Fidelity's top funds underperformed.
Meanwhile, Ellyn McColgan, whose star had been rising for several years at the fund company, was named president of distribution and operations in mid-2007; by August, however, McColgan resigned in the wake of Ned Johnson's decision to bring back Rodger A. Lawson as president. Abigail Johnson now reports to Lawson. Analysts say it's anyone's guess as to when the elder Johnson will step down-and who will replace him.
11) MARGARET KEANE, President and CEO, Retail Consumer-Finance Unit // GE Money-Americas
As the president and CEO of the retail consumer-finance unit at GE Money - the largest unit in the Americas-Margaret Keane oversees credit services to more than 50 million consumers throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Her unit focuses exclusively on credit-card services the company provides to major retailers, growth initiatives for these retail partners, functional expertise, streamlined decision-making and technology development.
Keane has been with GE since 1996, joining from Citibank, and immediately prior to assuming her current post was svp of operations for GE Money-Americas. "My role is to continue to expand partnerships into the retail space, and our biggest initiative over the past two and half years has been to get into the co-branded space," she says.
This initiative has been no small challenge. Her unit has had to adapt on numerous levels. Prior to her taking over, the unit was only involved with retail cards, which typically carry a low balance limit and have rudimentary customer service. Co-branded cards, on the other hand, have higher balance limits and demand 24x7 customer service. Customer service has to be enhanced, underwriting tightened, fraud-protection expanded. Even front-end, point-of-sale systems have had to be rethought. But it's been worth it. "We've had double digit growth," she says. "It's been game-changing for us."
12) MARJORIE MAGNER, Founding Partner // Brysam Global Partners
Throughout her long banking career, which began at Chemical Bank in the 1970s and culminated at Citigroup, where she was chairman and CEO of the Global Consumer Group, Marjorie Magner has been a pioneer for women in financial services. So, logically, there was plenty of interest in knowing what she would do after stepping down from her post in 2005.
The industry got its answer earlier this year when she announced she was teaming up with former Citigroup president and COO Robert Willumstad. The two founded private-equity firm Brysam Global Partners, which has more the $1 billion in capital to invest in consumer financial-services opportunities in emerging markets. The duo got a serious boost from JPMorgan Chase, which made a substantial investment in the fund. "What attracted me to private equity is the way we intend to do it, which is really focused on working on the business and being unencumbered by the management issues involved with a larger organization," she says. "Bill and I are operators. It's what we enjoy most and do well."
Consider the fund's first big investment; in June it plunked down $230 million in Ixe Grupo Financiero for a 28 percent stake, making Brysam the largest stakeholder in the Mexican financial institution. Magner explains that Ixe has an established place among high-end consumers in Mexico, but it now wants to move into the mass market, broaden its branch distribution and offer credit cards. "They feel strongly about participating in the rise of the middle class," she says. According to the World Bank, the percentage of the population of 107 million in extreme poverty has decreased from 24.2 percent to 17.6 percent.
To accomplish this goal Ixe needs help, which includes money and the kind of expertise that Magner, with her experience in U.S. consumer banking, brings to the strategy table.
13) MELINA HIGGINS, Managing Director // Goldman Sachs
As managing director of Goldman Sachs, Melina Higgins is head of North American Mezzanine, part of GS Mezzanine. In 2006, Goldman Sachs raised its fourth mezzanine fund and secured $9 billion of available capital. Today that fund, GS Mezzanine Partners 2006, is the largest mezzanine fund in the world.
The size of GSMP 2006 means Higgins is in on some of the industry's largest mezzanine deals, with investments ranging from $40 million to $500 million. The focus is on companies with $500 million to $10 billion of enterprise value, leading market positions, well regarded management teams and stable, cash-generative businesses.
Higgins has been with Goldman Sachs since 1993 and has worked on the mezzanine funds since their inception in 1996; in that time, about 100 investments have been made. She works on all aspects of investments, including sourcing, structuring, monitoring and harvesting.
She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard and a B.A. from Colgate University.
14) ABBY JOSEPH COHEN, Chief U.S. Investment Strategist // Goldman Sachs
As a partner and chief U.S. investment strategist at Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs, Abby Joseph Cohen also serves on the firm's partnership committee, investment-retirement committee, and on the board of Pine Street, which is charged with management and leadership development.
After earning economics degrees from Cornell and The George Washington University, she was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Goldman in 1990, she held similar responsibilities at Drexel Burnham Lambert and was an economist and quantitative analyst with T. Rowe Price Associates. She was named a Goldman partner in 1998. She is perhaps most famous for predicting the bull market of the 1990s early in the decade. However, her continued bullish calls through the downturn of the early part of this decade led some to dismiss her as a perpetual market cheerleader. She is a trustee of Cornell University and of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
15) JOYCE PHILLIPS, President and COO // American Life Insurance Co.
Joyce Phillips is a fresh face at American Life Insurance, better known as ALICO, a member company of AIG, where she officially took over as president and COO in July. She reports to Rodney O. Martin, Jr., who is ALICO chairman and CEO. The position is vintage Phillips in its international slant: ALICO has operations in more than 50 countries, with its main presence in Japan, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and portions of Africa and the Caribbean.
Phillips joins ALICO after an eight-year stint at Citigroup, where she had been head of international retail banking since 2005. At Citi she was responsible for product distribution and expanded Citigroup's global retail banking franchise in 42 countries. Product lines under her leadership included loans, deposits, investments and insurance. Previously, Phillips held various senior positions in Citigroup Japan, including country business manager of consumer operations and representative director of Citibank's retail bank, as well as president and CEO of Citicorp Diners Club Japan. She joined Citigroup in 1999 from GE Capital and has an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
16) LISA WEBER, President, Individual Business // MetLife
Lisa Weber is proof positive that a career in human resources is not a stepstool beside the executive ladder. Before her current post at MetLife, Weber directed human resources practices and strategies at Merrill Lynch and Manufacturers Hanover, and spent 10 years at PaineWebber, where she held a number of senior human-resources positions.
After she joined MetLife in 1998, she served as evp of human resources until 2001. Then came the switch. From 2001 to 2004, Weber served as MetLife's senior evp and chief administrative officer, responsible for MetLife's worldwide brand and communications, human resources, corporate ethics and compliance, audit, corporate services and security. In 2004, she was tapped to oversee the retail business segments, including individual business and auto and home. MetLife provides insurance and other financial services to more than 70 million customers worldwide.
Following MetLife's 2005 acquisition of Travelers Life & Annuity, Weber was credited with leading enhancements to the product line up, integrating the sales force, redesigning the back office, and driving bottom-line results. She helped to expand the company's presence in the independent-distribution marketplace, while strengthening the core agency distribution systems. After the merger, MetLife became the largest individual life insurer and second largest variable-annuity provider, based on sales, in North America.
17) SUSAN SHAFFER SOLOVAY, CEO // Pomegranate Capital
Susan Shaffer Solovay is the founder and CEO of Pomegranate Capital, the first fund of hedge funds that invests exclusively with women hedge-fund managers, which was launched in November. She declined to cite assets under management.
Solovay launched Pomegranate Capital to take advantage of an opportunity she identified while advising a New York City-based family office on hedge- fund investing. She found that many women-managed hedge funds presented a unique investment opportunity; funds managed by women seemed to have higher than average returns, but less assets under management than their male peers. Pomegranate subsequently compiled a database of 300 women-run hedge funds that manage over $55 billion in total.
Prior to forming Pomegranate Capital and advising the family office, Solovay worked as an institutional broker at Prudential Securities and Fimat Bank USA.
18) EILEEN MURRAY, Head of Global Operations and Technology // Morgan Stanley
Since 2005, Eileen Murray has been head of global operations and technology, supervising worldwide operations and information-technology needs and reporting directly to CEO John Mack.
Murray's career is strongly linked to Mack's, as she followed him from Morgan Stanley to Credit Suisse and back again. Murray's first stretch at Morgan Stanley began in 1984 as a senior analyst in the controller's office and lasted 18 years. By 2002, when she left for Credit Suisse, she had been chief administrative officer of Morgan Stanley's Institutional Securities Group for three years. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, she worked at the accounting firm of Peat Marwick.
At Credit Suisse she was head of global technology, operations and product control and managed more than 7,000 professionals. She was appointed to the firm's divisional committee and was the first woman to serve on CSFB's executive board.
19) ELAINE CROCKER, President // Moore Capital Management
As president and a member of the board and investment advisory committee of Moore Capital Management, a private investment-management firm with $13 billion under management and 415 employees, Elaine Crocker keeps a low profile.
Before joining Moore Capital in January 1995, Crocker was a managing director and an evp of Commodities Corp. (U.S.A). Her responsibilities included the planning, selection and development of the firm's trading, research, risk-control and legal and compliance activities, and she was also responsible for portfolio selection for internal capital and managed-fund products.
Crocker received a B.S. in business administration from Sophia University International College in Tokyo.
Moore disseminates little information about itself, but a company statement described it as having a global macroeconomic investment style. Its strategy has led to the development and implementation of various other strategies, including fixed income, emerging markets, private equity and credit instruments, the company says in the statement.
20) SUSAN KOZIK, EVP and CTO // TIAA-CREF
With 25 years of experience in information-technology management, Susan Kozik has found her true calling: At TIAA-CREF, she is in charge of company-wide technology direction and systems engineering and architecture, technology risk management, application portfolio management and data-center operations.
Kozik oversees almost $200 million of investments in new applications, and is in charge of providing new tools for the operations of the client services and investment areas. Under her leadership, the reorganized IT department is key to helping the firm achieve strategic goals.
Before joining TIAA-CREF, Kozik served as vp of IT operations at Lucent Technologies, and before that was svp and CTO at Penn Mutual Life Insurance, where she began her career.
Kozik graduated from Bates College and was the first recipient of its Distinguished Young Alumni Award. She is a Bates College trustee and remains active in alumni activities. (c) 2007 U.S. Banker and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.us-banker.com http://www.sourcemedia.com