Most Powerful Women in Finance: No. 11, Teresa Heitsenrether
Global Head of Custody and Fund Services, J.P. Morgan
In his latest annual letter to shareholders, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said that the bank's securities services business "has transformed itself into an industry powerhouse" that is allowing asset managers squeezed by passive investing and tight margins to operate more efficiently.
At the center of that transformation is Teresa Heitsenrether, who since 2015 has served as its global head of that business. In that time, Heitsenrether, who began her career as a trainee at Morgan Guaranty Trust 32 years ago, has brought enough assets onto the bank's platform to solidify its standing as one of the three largest custodian banks in the industry.
Assets under custody at JPMorgan Chase stood at $25.4 trillion on June 30, up 24% from the end of 2016, a span that included the bank's beating out State Street to be custodian for more than $1 trillion in assets from BlackRock in one of the largest such deals ever signed. Revenue at the securities services business has risen 18%, to nearly $4.2 billion, in the two years that ended Dec. 31.
Heitsenrether credits the growth of the business to the "collective talent and ability" of her leadership team - "great people who not only have strong technical skills but also the leadership skills to inspire others to go above and beyond."
A self-described "problem solver and business builder," Heitsenrether is drawn to challenges.
When she took over the securities services business, she discovered it did not have a comprehensive strategy. So she spent her first 100 days on the job meeting with clients and employees to find out what they needed to map the competitive landscape.
Heitsenrether faced a similar test during the financial crisis, when the bank named her to lead the integration of Bear Stearns' prime brokerage business. She was the only woman on a team of men who had just witnessed the demise of their firm.
Today she is the highest-ranking woman in JPMorgan's corporate and investment bank and a mentor to women across the company. She has mentored three of the record 30 women among the bank's managing directors in 2019.
Heitsenrether hopes to pass down her love of banking to her children. She and her husband of 28 years met at JPMorgan as trainees and they now have two daughters.
"I hope that in some way my experience shows that they can achieve whatever they aspire to without limitations," she said.