1. Mary Callahan Erdoes
CEO, JPMorgan Asset Management
Talk to Mary Callahan Erdoes for more than a few minutes, and one word is likely to keep coming up: intensity.
The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase's asset management unit not only says the word often, it's also a quality she exudes. It's enabled her to lead her division through five consecutive years of record revenue growth and to reign as American Banker's Most Powerful Woman in Finance for three years running. Erdoes attributes her professional dynamism in part to the example set by her late friend and former JPMorgan Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack this year at age 62.
"It was game day every day for him, and that's certainly a life lesson that he instilled in me," Erdoes says while on a family road trip through the American West in August. "I believe in working hard and playing hard, whether that means logging 14 hours in the RV yesterday or pulling long hours trying to help clients. It's about giving it your all and really feeling like you've accomplished something."
Erdoes has plenty of accomplishments to point to. She's one of two women on JPMorgan's 12-person operating committee (the other is Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake). She led her team of 20,000 employees to produce $12 billion in revenue in 2014, up from $11.4 billion the previous year. She's also committed to ensuring that other women at JPMorgan Chase have the opportunity to realize their potential.
In the past few years, Erdoes introduced a program aimed at helping women who have taken a career break return to wealth management, and helped launch the bankwide Women on the Move program, which sends senior women executives around the world to share advice and ideas with lower-level female employees.