Anne Walker: Thriving at BofA by simplifying the complicated

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Title: Corporate financial planning executive, chief operating officer for the CFO Group, and New York City market president

Home Base: New York City

Mentor: Anne Finucane, vice chairman at Bank of America

Tenure at BofA: 22 years

What she does: Walker is in charge of BofA's efforts to improve efficiency. She is also the public face of the bank in New York City.

How she met her mentor: When Walker moved into a corporate role six years ago, after working in investment banking, she met Finucane at BofA’s management committee meetings. “We sort of found each other,” Walker said. “I would ask for advice, and she was willing to give it. She’s super direct, so you get what you ask for, and I think that’s fantastic.”

The best part of the job: She loves digging into BofA’s financials and finding ways to simplify cumbersome processes. “The work is demanding. It can be deeply analytical in that you have to take the complex and make it simple,” Walker said. “I also love the breadth of what I touch,” including cost management, eight lines of business within the New York City market and accounting control functions.

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The next level: Walker, who has been with BofA for 22 years, has spent most of her career deep in the weeds of finance, and wants to work on mastering her soft skills. She looks to Finucane for insight on how to influence others in a way that’s thoughtful and forward-thinking. “She’s definitely someone who has a real presence,” Walker said. “I would aspire to have that skill set.”

Mom-bond: Walker and Finucane have bonded over their shared experiences as working mothers. Walker is expecting her third child; Finucane has four children of her own and three step-children. “We’re simpatico,” Finucane said.

On the same wavelength: They also have a sense of humor in common, one Walker describes as having a dash of sarcasm. “We just have a similar energy,” Walker said.

Complex matters: Though she hopes to be in the C-suite someday, Walker said she is focused right now on working hard, delivering on her goals and keeping everything in perspective. “I just want to be making a difference, and that sounds incredibly simple, but if I’m not having an impact every day, I frankly get bored,” she said. “So ongoing challenges, the more complex, the better, and the need to work with as many different people as possible, because I definitely thrive on a team.”

Downtime: When she’s not at work, Walker is hanging out with her family, working out, reading or watching a sitcom “so that I can laugh,” she said. “Grace and Frankie” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are two of her favorite shows.

See also:
Finucane and Walker on how they connected (video)
To get mentored, you have to get noticed (video)

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