Senior EVP, Head of Consumer Lending, Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo's consumer lending division continues to thrive under Avid Modjtabai's leadership. Since she took over the business in 2011, the loan portfolio has more than doubled, including $6.2 billion of growth in 2014 alone.
But she is still looking for ways to improve. Modjtabai encourages employees to figure out ways they can serve customers better — and the innovations they think up continue to flow through the pipeline.
The home-lending business has been rolling out a new digital platform, which should be processing all the company's mortgage applications by the end of this year. Modjtabai's team also plans to launch a new FICO Open Access program in 2015, giving customers real-time access to their credit scores.
Modjtabai never loses sight of risk — yet another area where she works to innovate. In 2014, Wells Fargo stopped originating interest-only home equity lines of credit. Now HELOCs are amortized over the term of the loan. Chargeoffs also continued to decline.
Her disciplined approach to risk management carries over to staffing decisions. To better monitor risk while allowing the business to grow, she chose to create two separate roles for a group risk officer and group credit officer. Doing this gave Modjtabai more insight into compliance and credit.
Outside of the office, Modjtabai doesn't shy away from her own challenges. This past year she joined the board at Avnet, an electronic parts distributor based in Phoenix. While this new role pushed her beyond her comfort zone, Modjtabai says she has learned a lot from the experience. It has shown her how other companies build teams and create work cultures.