A major milestone: KeyCorp Chairman and Chief Executive Beth Mooney, the first woman in history to lead a top-20 U.S. bank, is retiring next year. She will be succeeded by Chris Gorman, who had been president of banking, but will now serve as Key’s president and chief operating officer before taking over for Mooney on May 1. Key had roughly $87 billion of assets when Mooney took the helm eight-and-a-half years ago and has nearly $145 billion of assets today. Mooney, 64, was named American Banker’s Banker of the Year in 2017 and was our most Most Powerful Woman in Banking in 2013, 2014 and 2015, before becoming the inaugural inductee in the Hall of Fame.
The last boys’ club: This longread from Fortune asks why none of the largest banks in the country has ever had a female CEO. The myriad answers – from the cumulative impact of microaggressions to the lack of male sponsorship – hardly seem to be exclusive to banking. So where is this industry’s Mary Barra? In one of the more interesting answers, some speculated that Wall Street firms have been slow to evolve because their customers are CEOs of other companies, who are for the most part also male, so there has historically been little pressure to add women to key teams. The troubled Wells Fargo had been considered a leading candidate to break the glass ceiling earlier this year, but the most recent rumblings are that it is likely to go with a retired CEO (a group that, by definition, consists of all-male options) as its next leader.
A boon for stocks: Stock prices go up when companies in the tech and financial sectors disclose better-than-expected gender diversity figures, according to a new study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Likewise, when companies share underwhelming diversity figures, their shares drop, the study found. The researchers first looked at big tech companies like Google and Apple, then reviewed 2017 data from 50 financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Considering the market benefits — for example, the study projects that if Google had reported that 31% of its workforce were women, instead of 30%, it could’ve added $375 million in market value — the researchers conclude that organizations are systematically under-investing in gender diversity.
Not a bad start: Nubank’s co-founder, Cristina Junqueira, said she started the Brazilian digital bank because she was fed up with abusive practices at traditional financial institutions. “I worked for the largest incumbent bank in Brazil for five years, and I was just done making rich people richer,” she told Fortune. Junqueira, who previously worked at Itaú Unibanco and LuizaCred, said banks in Latin America are “hated” for their exorbitant fees and interest rates. NuBank, which Junqueira initially pitched to investors while seven months pregnant, has taken 12 million customers away from the incumbents in Brazil and more recently Mexico. It is now one of the largest digital banking startups in the world, valued at more than $10 billion.
After a new promotion, Suni Harford, who has been part of our Most Powerful Women rankings for years, appears to be among the potential candidates for the chief executive job at UBS Group. As of Oct. 1, Harford becomes president of the asset management group and joins the executive board, while Chief Operating Officer Sabine Keller-Busse takes on the additional role of president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Both women succeed a departing Ulrich Koerner in their new duties. The changes are part of a broader management shuffle that puts more diverse candidates in line to potentially succeed Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti, who reportedly plans to leave in the coming year. UBS Chairman Axel Weber, who’s also expected to leave, previously said that the company had started succession planning after several high-profile departures.
Suni Harford, Global Head of Investments at UBS Asset Management.
Muneera Carr, Comerica’s chief financial officer, has stepped down, and the search is on for her replacement. Carr had been chief accounting officer for seven years before being chosen as CFO in November 2017. Analysts interpreted her departure as a sign that Comerica’s new CEO, Curtis Farmer, is ready to start building his own leadership team. Farmer, who had been president, succeeded longtime CEO Ralph Babb in April.
MUFG’s Ranjana Clark is once again proving her versatility in taking on multiple roles at the Tokyo-based banking giant. Clark was recently appointed as deputy head of the transaction banking group, a newly created position in which she will managing the global aspects of the business, including strategy, product development and risk management. MUFG said her functional title in this new job is head of global transaction banking. In addition, Clark will continue as head of transaction banking for the Americas and Bay Area president. She had been one of our Women to Watch last year, after being promoted to chief transformation officer.
NBT Bancorp Inc. in Norwich, N.Y., has appointed Angela Wolfe Kelley as its general counsel. She most recently worked at Heartland Financial USA, where she was deputy general counsel and corporate secretary.
Michelle Bowman will get to stay a while. The Senate confirmed her for a 14-year term as the community bank representative on the Federal Reserve Board, after having previously confirmed her to fill the role just through 2020. Bowman, a Republican, is among only two females on the Fed board. Gov. Lael Brainard, a Democrat, has served on the board since 2014. Bowman is a former Kansas state banking commissioner and a fifth-generation banker who has strong support from the industry.
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Style matters: One of Wall Street’s female heavyweights, Elaine La Roche, passed away Aug. 25 at 70 years old. La Roche spent 22 years working her way up at Morgan Stanley at a time when fewer than 10% of the partners and managing directors of top securities firms were women. “I am extremely sensitive about living in a glass box, that I recognize that issues of style with respect to women can unfortunately often be more important than issues of substance,” La Roche told The New York Times in a 1996 profile when she was 47 years old. She had a reputation for being brusque, impatient and, while working on the trading floor, given to profanity-laced tirades, but former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack said in a Times interview that he doubted people would be saying negative things like that about her “if she was a man.” Among her career accomplishments, La Roche orchestrated Morgan Stanley’s 1995 joint venture with the government-run China Construction Bank, marking the first partnership between a U.S. investment bank and the Chinese government.
Baggage: Need a synonym for “woman”? The Oxford University Press lists “bitch, besom, piece, bit, mare, baggage, wench, petticoat, frail, bird, bint, biddy, filly” as options in some of its dictionaries, according to a petition signed by 30,000 people who favor removing the derogatory phrases. But Oxford’s head of lexical content strategy, Katherine Connor Martin, said its Thesaurus of English and Dictionary of English are meant to reflect the real-life use of language. “If there is evidence of an offensive or derogatory word or meaning being widely used in English, it will not be excluded from the dictionary solely on the grounds that it is offensive or derogatory,” she said.
Ms. Monopoly: The toymaker Hasbro is coming out with a new version of Monopoly where women make more than men and its dapper, top-hat-wearing mascot, the real estate mogul known as Rich Uncle Pennybags, is replaced by his high-heeled niece, an advocate whose mission is to invest in female entrepreneurs. The game play is similar to the original, but the railroads and the electric company are replaced with ride-hailing services and Wi-Fi, players build business headquarters rather than houses and hotels, and the pay disparity between women and men in the real world gets flipped around. At the beginning, the banker doles out $1,900 of Monopoly money to each female player and $1,500 to each male player. After that, female players collect $240 when they pass “Go,” while their male competitors collect the traditional $200.
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