CEO of Retail Financial Services | TIAA Financial Services

Fresh off helping lead TIAA's $2.5 billion purchase of Jacksonville, Fla.-based EverBank, Kathie Andrade took on another ambitious project this year.

She contributed to the development of TIAA Personal Portfolio, a professionally managed online account that launched in June. This hybrid robo-adviser is intended to appeal to the growing millennial customer base.

It is also expected to contribute to an upward trajectory that saw TIAA's retail business notch a 3% increase in assets under management last year. Since 2010, when Andrade took over as president of the company's Individual Advisory Services, a role she held until early 2016, assets under managment have increased nearly 140%.

"Year after year, Kathie has shown that she is a transformational leader who drives positive change, meets her commitments, and delivers results," said Roger W. Ferguson Jr., TIAA's president and CEO.

That vote of confidence is reflected in Andrade's assignment to TIAA's executive management team, making her one of only five leaders responsible for setting the long-term vision of the company. Andrade added another title in June, officially assuming the role of chairman of the board for the banking unit created with the EverBank acquisition.

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Andrade has been a leader in TIAA's efforts to expand opportunities for women as well. She helped create its Woman2Woman program, which includes an online community where female employees connect, share success stories and open up about their challenges.

Creating a network of women to help each other is a logical focus for Andrade, who said she benefits from these relationships just as much as the younger women she advises.

She also enjoys this type of mutual exchange with her children. "I define myself as a mother first," said Andrade, who has two daughters in their 20s and an 18-year-old son in college. "Over the years, I've learned a lot of important lessons from my own children, and I can confidently say that I'm a better person because of them."