Leslie Godridge
EVP, Head of National Corporate Specialized Industries and Global Treasury Management, U.S. Bancorp

The wholesale world has gotten bigger for Leslie Godridge, who has headed U.S. Bancorp's corporate and institutional banking since 2007. In February, Godridge's ambit was extended to also include the bank's Global Treasury Management business and she has wasted no time reorganizing, streamlining processes and cutting costs. Asked about her style and approach, Godridge says: "I look at the financials, I look at the margins compared to similar businesses, and I look line by line to see what's out of whack and ask why things are organized the way they are. Reorganizing does not happen overnight."

Godridge has carved out 11 groups by industry type within wholesale banking and each one will be assigned its own metrics and goals. "We approach with a solution and show clients how they can better manage Treasury operations. This is different, because we are consulting, not selling."

For perspective on how far U.S. Bancorp has already come, it was the ninth busiest book-runner In terms of number of financing transactions completed in 2013, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Those deals include asset-backed financing, commercial real estate credit, equipment leasing and commercial-dealer loans, to name a few. As for back in 2007, U.S. Bancorp didn't even crack the top 20.

Women's progress in the industry is bringing tangible business benefits, among them the development of stronger relationships with clients, Godridge says. But she argues that further progress requires active effort from the leaders and companies in the industry: "Women need to see others at senior levels making sure that there is support to advance. It just can't happen unless there is support."

For those aiming to move ahead in their careers, Godridge's experience offers a couple of lessons: If you want to advance, say so. And don't waste time holding out for the perfect opportunity.

"After I reached a certain level, I became more vocal about wanting to do more. I did not exclude anything. Some people think there is a specific step to make it to the next position, and they are pickier. Not me."

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