Women in Banking

Glamorous game-changers and Nasdaq's crypto future

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Going glam: The women making moves in cryptoworld are featured in this month’s issue of Glamour. The nine game-changers profiled in “The Money Issue” include Kathleen Breitman, the co-founder and chief executive officer of a “self-amending cryptographic ledger” called Tezos, Elizabeth Rossiello, founder of the Kenya-based payment platform BitPesa, and Amber Baldet, the former JPMorgan Chase blockchain lead who left the bank earlier this month to start her own yet-to-be-announced venture (as we previously noted here). “The Internet of Value is just beginning to take shape, and it isn't just about peer-to-peer payments,” Baldet said. “We're redefining how businesses and governments engage with each other, global citizens and consumers. Building ethical, secure, scalable systems that work in the real world is a huge responsibility and I can't wait to share what we're working on.”

One day: Can you imagine Nasdaq as a digital currency exchange? CEO Adena Friedman can – once regulators iron out confusion around how to treat different crypto products and services. "Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time,” she said. "I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist, it's just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature. Once you look at it and say, 'do we want to provide a regulated market for this?' certainly Nasdaq would consider it.” For now, though, it’s supporting crypto exchanges; this week it announced a deal to allow the use of its surveillance technology by Gemini, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ crypto exchange.

Have we really come a long way?: As a female executive in corporate America in the 1980s, Ellen Kullman was a trailblazer. But now she is a disappointed mom, discovering that women still have the same workplace challenges she did at General Electric and DuPont back then. At an event in New York, the 62-year-old Kullman, who is now on the board of directors at Goldman Sachs and several other companies, shared that she’s watching her daughter encounter similarly sexist situations and realizing that the professional world is not the “fair place” she thought it had become for women. Kullman said she left GE because she wasn’t compensated at the same level as her male peers. She later experienced harassment at DuPont, only to have two of the three male witnesses deny any wrongdoing by their male colleague when the CEO asked what happened. “What I found is the men close ranks and take care of each other,” said Kullman, who stayed at DuPont more than 25 years and went on to serve as its CEO from 2009 to 2015. “There were a few principled men who would tell the truth.” Kullman is co-chair of the Paradigm for Parity coalition, which is tackling the leadership gender gap issue.

Progresso: Brazil’s female bankers are making progress, both in C-suites and on boards, with the hope of more to come. In February, Goldman Sachs named Maria Silvia Bastos Marques as its CEO for Brazil, making her the first woman to lead one of the firm’s local operations in Latin America, and Credit Suisse nominated Ana Paula Pessoa to a seat on its global board, making her the first Brazilian to sit at that table. And in March, Deutsche Bank picked Maite Leite as its new country head for Brazil. But at Brazil’s three largest national banks, women aren’t having the same success; just two women (at Banco Bradesco and Itau Unibanco) have been named to board seats and they’re both descendants of the firms’ founding families. Banco do Brasil has no women on its board. “The situation is still precarious, with very few women on boards and mostly the same names,” said Pessoa, who’s still awaiting shareholder approval to join Credit Suisse’s board. She said the industry needs to pay more attention to promoting women, but she doesn’t believe in imposing quotas. “As Latin Americans, we were brought up in a very sexist culture in a lot of different ways, and because of that, gender-related unconscious bias is widespread,” said Claudia Politanski, the highest ranking woman at Itau. But it’s just a matter of time before a larger contingent of women fill those roles, according to Glaucimar Peticov, deputy investor relations officer at Banco Bradesco. “There’s a clear change going on now, though not at the speed many, including me, would like,” Peticov said.


Consumers rank mobile banking apps in third place for frequency of use, just after weather and social media apps, according to a recent Citigroup survey. In this week’s American Banker podcast, Alice Milligan, chief digital client experience officer at Citigroup's U.S. Consumer Bank, shares the results of this survey, in which the bank asked 2,000 Americans about their mobile banking habits. One finding Milligan found interesting is that eight out of 10 mobile banking users say they go into the app nine times a month.

Milligan also talked in a separate article about how Citi made adjustments to its fraud and risk controls to support the person-to-person payment network Zelle.

Role call

First Keystone Corp. in Berwick, Pa., needs a new president and CEO, following the resignation of Matthew Prosseda. The $990 million-asset parent company of First Keystone Community Bank named Elaine Woodland interim president and CEO of both the corporation and the bank while a search committee looks for a permanent successor. The committee intends to consider internal and external candidates. Woodland is First Keystone’s treasurer and chief operating officer.

Mastercard has promoted Caroline Louveaux, one of its longtime data privacy experts, to be chief privacy officer, operating from the company’s offices in Brussels. In her new post, Louveaux will work closely with JoAnn Stonier, who was the chief privacy officer until Mastercard named her as its first chief data officer in February. Louveaux's team will focus on data innovation and ensuring the privacy of personal information,

Kansas banking commissioner Michelle "Micki" Bowman is one of President Trump’s nominees for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Bowman, a fifth-generation banker who formerly worked at Farmers & Drovers Bank, would fill a spot designated for community bank expertise. Bowman also has worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer for former Republican Sen. Bob Dole and as counsel to the House Transportation and Oversight committees.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing has named Laura Cha as its new chairman, making her the first woman to hold that position in the company’s 18-year history.

Beyond banking

Outnumbered by men named John: New research from the New York Times shows the number of U.S. CEOs named John — a group that is overwhelmingly white, it points out — is very similar to the total number of female CEOs. Worse, there are even more Jameses than there are women in the cadre of CEOs. The research examined CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, directors of top-grossing films, top venture capitalists, Republican senators and governors and Democratic governors. “Fewer Republican senators are women than men named John — despite the fact that Johns represent 3.3% of the male population, while women represent 50.8% of the total population,” the Times article said. The research also found fewer female Democratic governors (13%) than men named John (19%) and, for the top-grossing 100 films last year, fewer female directors (7%) than men named Michael and James combined (8%). Check out the rest of the findings here.

Space invaders: In the last decade, coworking spaces have grown from a trend to an entire global industry and now, entrepreneurs are creating niche-specific spaces. Some of those designed as women-only spaces, like The Wing, are even managing lengthy waitlists. But what was initially designed as something to remedy discrimination is now being called unfair by some because of the exclusivity. Private clubs are legally allowed to reject applicants based on criteria, but previous legal cases have viewed some “clubs,” arguably similar to the Wing, as being subject to the same laws that forbid businesses from discriminating based on race, sex or religion. “Everyone is grappling with the questions raised by the fact that there’s this need these spaces are filling,” said Galen Sherwin, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who works on the organization’s women’s rights project. She added that the “untested legal questions” raised by the coworking spaces might just have to play out in court.

A royal ruckus: Just seven hours after giving birth to her third child (a son named Louis Arthur Charles), a flawless Kate Middleton posed for a photo op as she left the hospital, prompting a social media tizzy over whether she was setting an unrealistic standard for women. Some moms took to Twitter to share photos of themselves after childbirth – juxtaposed with the Duchess of Cambridge’s postnatal perfection – to amusing effect.

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Bonnie McGeer contributed to this report.

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Mobile banking Apps Digital currencies National banks C-suite Brazil Women in Banking