Most Powerful Women in Finance: Katia Bouazza, HSBC
Vice Chairman, Capital Markets, Americas
Katia Bouazza can boast a series of notable firsts over the past year.
Her team at HSBC led the issuance of Chile's green deal in 2019, making it the first country in Latin America to issue a sovereign green bond. The team also steered the Brazilian food processing giant Marfrig through its first issuance of a green bond, which represents its commitment to the control of deforestation.
And HSBC structured a BBVA Bancomer deal that was the first Tier 2 Basel II-compliant transaction for a Mexican bank, and a private placement for the airport operator Opain that was the first transaction of its kind in Colombia.
In short, Bouazza's pioneering exploits are further expanding her influence. In May, she was named vice chairman for capital markets in the Americas, making her the only female with a vice chair title on HSBC's global banking executive committee as well as at the group level.
The new role expands her previous responsibilities to a broader geography. As part of her duties, Bouazza is charged with managing and growing the transaction banking business across the region. She also has oversight of trade and receivables financing, cash and liquidity management, and securities services.
Among the landmark deals she shepherded this spring, one in particular that stands out is the first transaction out of Latin America after the pandemic hit. Though HSBC had just migrated to a remote working environment at the time, Bouazza's team helped lead the $2.5 billion deal for a group of issuers that included the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and Panama. It was the largest international issuance in Panama's history.
"We've proven remote work doesn't undermine our ability to serve our clients during the COVID-19 lockdown, so why shouldn't we embrace remote work all the time?" Bouazza said.
As an advocate for workplace flexibility that supports both women's professional and personal endeavors, Bouazza sees this new normal as an opportunity for banks to attract and retain strong female talent and for women — especially mothers — to achieve the same career trajectory as their male counterparts.