11 September 2020 12:39

Citigroup Michael Corbat Jane Fraser

Jane Fraser to be 1st woman to lead Wall Street bank as Citi's new CEO

Following Michael Corbat's announcement that he is stepping down as Citi's CEO, Jane Fraser has been selected by the board as his successor. Officially the first female CEO of a leading Wall Street investment bank, Fraser's ascension is a landmark decision, with the company ruling that the depth and breadth of her experience more than qualify her to take over leadership from Corbat. "The Board deeply appreciates Mike's many contributions to Citi, and he will leave the firm in a much stronger position than he found it," stated John C. Currently the President of Citi and holding responsibilities across every aspect of consumer business in 19 countries, including mortgages, retail and wealth management, Fraser's 16-year career, which began as 'Head of Client Strategy', as been long and well-developed. Jane Fraser is set to succeed Citi CEO Michael Corbat as he reveals his plans to retire in February 2021.

Working at Citi for the last 16 years, Fraser has worked in her current role as president and CEO of global consumer banking since 2019. Corbat concluded: "I have worked with Jane Fraser for many years and am proud to have her succeed me. Citi is set to name the new CEO of global consumer banking in the coming weeks. Dugan, chair of the board of directors, commented: "The Board deeply appreciates Mike Corbat's many contributions to Citi, and he will leave the firm in a much stronger position than he found it." Citigroup's Jane Fraser will become the first woman ever to lead a Wall Street bank when she succeeds CEO Michael Corbat in February. Fraser is currently head of Citi's global consumer banking division, a major part of the bank that oversees checking and savings accounts but also Citi's massive credit card business.

"I have worked with Jane for many years and am proud to have her succeed me," Corbat said in a statement, noting that she will make an outstanding CEO "with her leadership, experience and values." Corbat led Citigroup for eight years, rebuilding the company after it nearly collapsed during the Great Recession and 2008 financial crisis. While progress for female leaders has been slow, 36 of the Fortune 500 companies are now run by women, including automaker General Motors Co., chocolate maker Hershey Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp., according to corporate governance services firm BoardEx. Even beyond the major banks, only four of the 200 largest public U.S. financial services companies – Synchrony Financial, Franklin Resources Inc, Nasdaq Inc and CIT Group Inc – have female CEOs, according to BoardEx. Women are also underrepresented in CEO roles at financial firms when smaller companies are included. The only sector with a lower representation of women as CEOs is real estate, where there are five female chief executives out of 196 companies, according to The Conference Board and Esgauge. CEO candidates typically come from roles in finance, operations or running a business line, where there are few women leaders, according to a study from accounting and consulting firm Deloitte. Fraser, 53, has been a rising star in the financial industry, with a career that spans investment banking, wealth management, troubled mortgage workouts and strategy in Latin America – a key business for Citigroup.

Among the Citigroup board directors who tapped Fraser as CEO, eight of 17 are women, compared to about a quarter at most other U.S. banks. Wall Street's longest-enduring glass ceiling is about to be broken.Citigroup, the country's third-largest bank with $1.96 trillion in assets, said Thursday that Jane Fraser will become its chief executive in February.Fraser, the bank's president and head of its global consumer banking business, will succeed Michael Corbat, who has served as chief executive since 2012. Fraser was teed up as the bank's next chief executive last year when she was promoted to her current role."It's frustrating that this moment has been so long in coming," said Rob Blackwell, chief content officer for Promontory Interfinancial Network, which provides services for banks. "She has deep experience across our lines of business and regions, and we are highly confident in her."Fraser, 53, will join a very small group of female leaders at major corporations. There are only 31 women among the CEOs of the 500 companies that make up the S&P 500 stock index, according to the advocacy group Catalyst.She will have no female counterparts among the 10 largest U.S. banks.

At a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee last April, one lawmaker asked Corbat and six of his peers — from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon and State Street — to raise their hand if they believed a woman or person of color would succeed them. Bank of America's chief operating officer, Cathy Bessant, who was widely seen as a top candidate to take over as chief executive of Wells Fargo when the bank was searching for a new leader last year, praised the announcement in a post on Twitter on Thursday."Great news for the company and for women everywhere," she wrote.Citi's decision to elevate Fraser is likely to draw attention to the succession plans at other Wall Street firms. JPMorgan Chase has already reshuffled its leadership ranks to put two women, Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak, among the potential candidates to succeed its longtime chair and chief executive, Jamie Dimon.Fraser is taking the helm of a bank that has been trying to keep its footing as a global financial institution in the face of the Trump administration's trade wars and the coronavirus pandemic. Citigroup, the third-largest bank of the US, has named Jane Fraser as its new chief executive officer (CEO). She will become the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank when she takes charge from the current CEO, Michael Corbat, in February 2021. Fraser, who has been with the bank for 16 years, is the President of Citi and the CEO of Global Consumer Banking. Jane's ability to think strategically and also operate a business are a unique combination that will serve our company well," John Dugan, the Chair of Citi's board, said in a statement.