Helga Houston
Senior EVP, Chief Risk Officer, Huntington Bancshares

Huntington Bancshares' CEO Stephen Steinour makes few decisions without first consulting his chief risk officer, Helga Houston. Since hiring Houston in 2011, Steinour has sought her input on the risks associated with everything from new products to customer advocacy programs to acquisitions. He relies heavily on Houston — one of the few female chief risk officers at a top-25 bank — to manage Huntington's stress-testing process and other compliance programs and to ensure the bank maintains a low-to-moderate risk appetite across all lines of business. He also counts on her to help others be alert for anything that might expose Huntington to losses. "Helga is a trusted advisor," Steinour says. "She is the key voice in all internal risk management communications and is actively involved in all senior-level meetings."

A longtime executive at Bank of America, Houston is one of the industry's most high-profile risk management executives. She has done two stints on the board of the Risk Management Association, where she has helped to train scores of risk managers. She also serves on the risk council of the Financial Services Roundtable and is a founder and an active board member of the Risk Institute at Ohio State University's Fisher School of Business.

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