Most Powerful Women in Finance: Teresa Heitsenrether, J.P. Morgan

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Global Head of Securities Services

Among the top priorities this year for Teresa Heitsenrether and her team at J.P. Morgan was launching a service designed to help asset managers sharpen their focus and cut costs by outsourcing some administrative and operational functions.

The team had pledged to roll out the service in July for a client in the Netherlands, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic halted business travel. So Heitsenrether, the global head of securities services for JPMorgan Chase's investment banking unit, moved the myriad meetings that the setup demanded to Zoom, where, at 2 a.m. on the eve of the scheduled launch, the client's executives gave the go-ahead.

"While we had to adapt our approach, the team never wavered in its commitment to achieve an on-time delivery," said Heitsenrether, who in five years since taking the helm of the securities services business has led its rise to become the second-largest custodian of financial assets in the industry.

Nailing a launch amid the disruption of the pandemic reflects the focus that Heitsenrether has worked to instill among her 2,400 employees.

"Stay close to clients and find ways to help them navigate the challenges they face," she counsels them. But at the same time, she adds, "take care of yourself and make time to disconnect and recharge."

Heitsenrether has found that the frequency and authenticity of communication with her team matters. To help everyone working from home feel connection, Heitsenrether shares stories from her day. They include tales of Chelsea, her 15-year-old Lab border collie, who watches Heitsenrether do her daily fitness workout.

"I'm not sure if she's amused or annoyed, but after a few minutes of my punching and kicking, she often will go find a quieter room to rest in until I'm done," Heitsenrether said.

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