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1. Karen Peetz

President, BNY Mellon

Karen Peetz, who has been in banking for three decades and at BNY Mellon for the past 15 years, was the company's first female vice chairman and has sat on its executive committee since 2007. She spent four consecutive years on our list of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, including a turn at No. 1 in 2011. With her promotion this year to president of BNY Mellon, she shoots straight to the top of our list of 25 Women to Watch, which recognizes senior executives who have taken on new roles within the past year, as well as talented up-and-comers.

Peetz, who led BNY Mellon's financial markets and treasury services group before her promotion in January, also stepped up to guide her alma mater, Pennsylvania State University, through a devastating period, taking over as chairman of the board of trustees during the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. She stepped down after being named president at BNY Mellon but remains on the board of the university. She also is active in efforts to reform the tri-party repo market, and is spearheading the creation of a "virtual university" at BNY Mellon, with a focus on skills such as sales and client service, risk management and compliance, and even professional development. Each discipline will have its own "dean," and the "students" will be BNY Mellon's 9,000 middle managers.

(See Peetz' full profile here.)