Alberta Cefis
EVP and Head of Global Transaction Banking, Scotiabank

The outstanding results Alberta Cefis posted last year — improving revenue, deposit balances, expense control, risk management and so on — extend a streak of contributions she has made going back more than 14 years, to when she joined Scotiabank as a senior vice president in retail lending services.

As she moved up, says Brian Porter, the Canadian bank's president and incoming CEO, Cefis helped shape a rapid expansion in consumer and small-business lending, and developed insurance and automotive lending, both important growth areas today. He also says she helped establish global transaction banking as a viable business. When she took charge of it in May 2006, the relatively new unit lacked products, technology and strong leadership, yet had the challenge of operating in more than 50 countries against the largest banks in the world. Porter says Cefis assembled all the necessary components and went on to distinguish Scotiabank in its foreign markets, increasing customer retention and building a solid revenue stream.

Cefis has had an equally powerful impact as a mentor and in her charitable work. For the past two years she has led the bank's 120-member team participating in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life, Canada's most important AIDS fundraising event. Monique Doolittle-Romas, CEO of the Canadian AIDS Society, credits Cefis with tripling the number of participants and pledges that came in last year.

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