Amy Carlson
Group Head, Debt Capital Markets, KeyBanc Capital Markets

When it started in 2002, the loan syndications group at KeyBanc Capital Markets consisted of one person, Amy Carlson. Its function early on was mainly risk management.

In the dozen years since, Carlson has helped to build a business that has raised tens of billions of dollars for clients, including $80 billion in the last four years. Her responsibilities have expanded to include the high-grade and high-yield debt group, which last year raised over $96 billion in capital for clients. She is now the top female executive in the corporate and investment banking unit of parent company KeyCorp.

Carlson oversees 100 people working in six divisions that originate, underwrite, structure, price and manage various types of debt instruments on behalf of a spectrum of institutional, middle market and commercial real estate clients. The business line where it all started, loan syndications and sales, has logged five consecutive years of record growth under Carlson's leadership. Since 2013, the riskiest category of syndicated loan, leveraged finance, has come under increased regulatory scrutiny. In response, Carlson created a team to improve transparency and increase reporting for this higher-risk part of the portfolio.

Carlson says she believes that women in finance have a responsibility to provide opportunities for other women. This past year, she helped develop the inaugural Women in Corporate and Investment Banking conference to encourage young women to seek careers in the field. About 25 young women from universities across the nation participated in the daylong event.

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