Most Powerful Women in Finance: Gunjan Kedia, U.S. Bancorp
Vice Chairman, Wealth Management and Investment Services
Gunjan Kedia hadn't pulled an all-nighter since her days as an engineering student in India.
But that's what happened this spring when she was asked to help mobilize more 3,000 U.S. Bancorp employees who would go on to process tens of thousands of Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for small-business owners desperate for cash early on in the pandemic.
Kedia, who has led the wealth management and investment services division since late 2016, helped guide the effort to become a 24/7 operation to process as many PPP loans as possible. By the end of the second round, U.S. Bancorp had assisted nearly 100,000 small businesses.
On the eve before the second wave of funding became available, Kedia and her colleagues, Tim Welsh, vice chairman of the consumer and business bank, and Jeff von Gillern, chairman of technology and operations, wanted to show support for their teams and did that "through a good, old-fashioned all-nighter," she said. "We had chat sessions open all night and we chimed in with encouraging messages and a wonderful sense of team solidarity, all fueled by something very much worth doing."
One of Kedia's key accomplishments over the past year was leading the wealth management unit's expansion in Europe — adding products in Ireland and entering Luxembourg for the first time. Overall, the unit, which has more than 7,500 employees worldwide, generated $2.96 billion in revenue in 2019, up 10% from the prior year.
Kedia, one of three female leaders on the company's management committee, is also part of a group of senior-level women working on an initiative to increase financial awareness among women and underrepresented groups. In the first year, the group hosted listening sessions with 400 women in more than 10 cities and used the feedback to train advisers and add new programs. A similar project this fall aims to build wealth in the Black community.