The Women to Watch: No. 22, BNY Mellon's Paulette Mullings Bradnock

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Chief Audit Executive, BNY Mellon

A good leader, it is often said, leads by example. A great one gets down in the trenches with her team even as she is dealing with serious health issues and the demands of her job are pulling her in multiple directions.

That was Paulette Mullings Bradnock, the chief audit executive at BNY Mellon, in early 2017.

At the time, the bank was undergoing an intense regulatory examination and significant internal auditing resources were diverted to that effort. That left Bradnock often doing tasks that might typically be assigned to auditors several rungs below her, such as pulling documents and writing responses to regulators’ queries.

Still, despite the increased demands on her time, Bradnock was able to execute on her key priorities for the year, which included developing a three-year strategic plan for her group, overseeing the rollout of new data analytics tools aimed at improving efficiency of internal audits, and completing a top-to-bottom review of the bank’s risk culture. And she did it all while battling an undisclosed illness.

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Bradnock joined BNY Mellon in 2015 following a 10-year career as senior vice president and chief audit executive at American International Group. She manages a global team of more than 350 auditors and she reports to the audit committee of the board of directors and to CEO Charles Scharf.

Bradnock actively mentors up-and-coming leaders, but she is also a big fan of reverse mentoring. She meets monthly with Jordan Rickard, a millennial-aged vice president in the bank’s corporate lending division.

Their sessions have been useful in that they have helped Bradnock gain a better understanding of corporate lending and have influenced how she engages with millennials on her own team. Their meetings are also helping Bradnock in her personal life.

In one session, Bradnock learned that Amazon has a service — Amazon Key — that allows for delivery people to leave packages inside homes rather than on doorsteps. In another, she was given a tutorial on which online banks have the best products and services.

Rickard “was perplexed that I still go to a bank branch,” Bradnock said.

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