A Big Congratulations: Finally, KeyCorp's Beth Mooney is getting some company at the CEO level of the big banks. Nandita Bakhshi has been tapped as Bank of the West's next president and chief executive officer. The TD Bank exec will join the San Francisco unit of BNP Paribas in April and start in her new roles in June. She succeeds Michael Shepherd, who will take on the role of chairman at BNP Paribas USA, a newly created holding company for all of BNP Paribas' U.S. subsidiaries. Bakhshi, one of our 25 Women to Watch (a good call, no?), appeared on the cover of the October issue of American Banker Magazine. She is TD's executive vice president and head of North American direct channels. Her 28-year banking career also includes top posts at Washington Mutual, FleetBoston and First Data. In the press release announcing the new hire, the $76 billion-asset Bank of the West cited Bakhshi's "visionary thinking, relentless customer focus and values-driven philosophy" among the reasons why she got the job.
Return and Rise: Bank of America Merrill Lynch has promoted leveraged-finance specialist A.J. Murphy to head of global capital markets — one year after her return to the bank. She had left in 2014 to join Goldman Sachs as a partner. B of A has other women in leadership roles, including head of global research Candace Browning. But the bank says it does not break out gender numbers by business or region. Women make up 25% of senior leadership at JPMorgan Chase, 23% at Citi and 21% at Goldman. Murphy replaces Jim Probert, who is retiring, and she will oversee debt and equity capital markets, which generated revenue of $1.4 billion and $985 billion, respectively, for 2015.
It's What's Inside (and Outside) that Counts: Goldman Sachs tops eFinancialCareers' list of ideal employers for finance professionals, but JPMorgan Chase is most ideal for women. Cathrin Petty, JPM's head of healthcare investment banking for EMEA, says that follow-through on female forward initiatives is imperative in the banking sector and that it isn't enough just to have a mission statement in place (basically, more action to back up all that talk, please). The easiest way to get more women into top roles in the industry is to provide good role models, Petty adds. Two of JPM's top guns, for example, CFO Marianne Lake and asset management CEO Mary Erodes (veterans of our Most Powerful Women list) participate in the company's "Women on the Move" program, which allows female employees to talk out ideas and get feedback from senior female executives internally. Petty says a push from outside the company makes a difference as well. "There's nothing quite like more women in senior investment banking positions to reinforce the message, but it's also important for clients to support it as well," she says.
Lip Service Lives on: The piece of the Dodd-Frank Act that aims to add more women and minorities to the finance industry went into effect nine months ago, but it still has a long way to go. Section 342, spearheaded by Rep. Maxine Waters from California among others, requires financial regulators to monitor their agencies' workforce diversity and supplier diversity. It also requires them to assess diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate, but this has proven to be more tricky, because "the language that went into the passage of the original section didn't provide for any enforcement capability," according to Orim Graves, executive director of the National Association of Securities Professionals. Female representation in finance and insurance in both professional and managerial roles has actually declined slightly over the last 10 years. "We remain disappointed that, almost five years after the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted, our federal financial services agencies continue to provide lip service to important issues related to the diversity and inclusion of women and minorities in the financial services sector," Waters wrote in a joint news release in June with Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio.
Loosey-Goosey Laws and Leaders: Mercatus Center research fellow Hester Peirce has been nominated to fill a vacancy at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where she would write and implement post-financial crisis rules. Peirce is of the attitude that Washington has so far made poor decisions in its so-called efforts to avoid another crisis. "Giving regulators more levers to pull and buttons to push with respect to the financial system only creates a false sense of security," she says of Dodd Frank in a book she co-edited, "Dodd-Frank, What It Does and Why It's Flawed." That's why the law, which effectively put the power to avert another financial meltdown in the hands of the ones that missed it the first time, would be her biggest target at the SEC, she says. Peirce has complained about oversight of money-market mutual funds and the new Financial Stability Oversight Council, among many other things.
JPMorgan Chase has named Sarah Youngwood chief financial officer for consumer and community banking. The company promoted her from the position of director of investor relations, according to an internal memo. She has been with JPMorgan for about 20 years.
Barbara Duck will become chief information officer of BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., on July 1. The bank is expanding the CIO's duties beyond IT to include data oversight and digital development. Duck, who joined BB&T's executive management in 2003, will oversee BB&T's digital channels, including online and mobile.
BB&T also expanded the role of Donna Goodrich, its deposits services manager. She now has direct responsibility for the payments business and is expected to work with other executives to "further integrate the digital experience for various lines of business." Goodrich joined BB&T's executive management in late 2006.
In Case You Missed It
Work-Life Balancing Acts: ICICI Bank is trying to get more women to stay in banking with two recently introduced initiatives. The first gives female employees a work-from-home opportunity for as long as one year. The other covers the cost for a child and one caretaker to come along on work trips for female managers with children three years old or younger. Chanda Kochhar, ICICI's CEO, says she recognized that half of women enter the workforce upon completing a formal education but when they're between 27 and 32 years of age there's a tendency for them to leave their jobs, citing among the reasons maternity, child care, travel time, untimely shifts, long working hours and medical conditions. (The private equity firm KKR also recently began offering the bring-the-baby travel perk, as you may have read here before.)
First Base, Salaries; Second Base, Bonuses: Women in banking receive smaller bonuses and take longer to reach the top of the ladder than their male counterparts, according to recent U.K. study. Men and women in banks' mergers and acquisitions department now receive the same base salary (good job) but the average bonus of the male employee is about $42,000 more than the average bonus of his female counterpart. A survey of 4,700 front-line bankers indicated it takes men 17.5 years on average to become a managing director; his female counterpart, 19.5 years.
A Different Kind of Work Spouse: Nora Bloch and Sarah Kitterman are Boston bankers with young families that share a job. One works Monday to Wednesday, the other Wednesday to Friday. Colleagues never doubt that by communicating with one they effectively communicate with both. About 20% of U.S. companies and half of U.K. companies allow job sharing, but why so few? The approach — in which two people in a given workplace share one job and one identity — has been touted as a possible solution to the gender gap in top leadership roles, a tricky balancing act for many women when they start families and have to cut their hours to tend to their children, find childcare and pay for it, or quit. Often, they quit.
A Woman's Worth: Here's a big reason why women in their 30s leave their jobs: they find other jobs that pay them more. If you have any doubts, ask women in their 30s (never assume). About 65% of them cited another higher-paying job as a main reason for leaving their jobs in a study. Women and men actually leave organizations for similar reasons, the research shows. While work-family balance is not one of the reasons typically given by men, both genders are motivated by salaries. Findings also show women are likely to leave if there is a lack of opportunity for learning and development (62%), if the work is uninteresting and not meaningful to them (56%), if they're underpaid for their worth (56%) or if they're starting a family (54%) and want to devote more time to it. So of course there is truth in the family theory, but why assume it applies to every woman? Men's top five reasons were mostly the same, although family time was not one of them. About 56% of men cited jobs elsewhere that pay more and 44% indicated their compensation was not commensurate with their effort.
Minority Female Entrepreneurs, Apply Here: Of 10,284 venture deals funded between 2012 and 2014, 24 of them were led by black women. But a new startup accelerator called digitalundivided is looking to grow that number fast. The Atlanta-based organization will open applications for its first class of up to 15 minority female-led companies in May, for a summer start. It has not announced partners yet, but it is funded by a U.S. Small Business Administration grant. It's also raising the Harriet Fund (as in Harriet Tubman) to invest exclusively in women of color. "A lot of funds have diversity as part of their marketing and branding," says Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne, a 17-year JPMorgan Chase veteran whose management company is helping start the fund. "But if there are so many people focused on women and diversity and the urban environment, why then have there only been 24 deals done with women of color? With the Harriet Fund, if there are 15 women a year coming through, we'll be upping those numbers with lightning speed."