Slide 1 of 26
1. Beth Mooney

Chairman and CEO, KeyCorp

Beth Mooney, who began her banking career at Republic Bank of Texas in the 1970s, vividly recalls the days when she was the only woman in managers' meetings. Now, as one of the few women running a major banking company—and the only female CEO at a top 20 U.S.-based bank—she says she feels an obligation to nurture female talent. She's doing just that, announcing key hires and promotions of women, and pressing recruiters who work with the bank to provide more diverse slates of candidates in general.

She's also focused on what may be banks' greatest single challenge these days: growing revenue. She has addressed the issue head on by buying back a credit card portfolio, acquiring roughly three dozen branches in upstate New York and beefing up Key's commercial mortgage servicing portfolio. She's also spearheading an efficiency drive that puts the bank on pace to trim overhead by roughly $200 million a year through branch consolidation and other cost-cutting measures.

Those moves are a big reason by Key's share price is up nearly 40 percent over the past year, outpacing the KBW Bank Index and the Standard & Poor's 500.

(See Mooney's full profile here.)