(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc. CN named consumer banking chief Jane Fraser as her next chief executive on Thursday, making her the first woman to run a large Wall Street bank.
Fraser, 53, is a rising star in the financial industry with a career that spans investment banking, asset management, troubled mortgage training and strategy in Latin America – a key geography for Citigroup. She will take over from CEO Michael Korbat in February, the bank said.
“Great news for the company and for women everywhere!” Tweeted Bank of America Corp. BAC.N Chief of Operations and Technology Cathy Besant. “Big and fantastic moment.”
In an internal note, Korbat characterizes Fraser’s new role as an innovative event and a pride for Citigroup.
Fraser speaks publicly about the struggles she faced as a young woman and then a working mother in a competitive industry.
At an event in 2016 organized by an international business group, she described her early days as an investment banker, when women were expected to behave and dress like men in order to succeed, as well as her experience in juggling home life and work.
“I’m often asked, ‘Can you get everything?’ Can you do everything? “, She said at an event in 2016, organized by the international business community. “And I say, ‘Yes, you can, but you can’t do it all at once and don’t expect everything at once. “
Fraser joins a small group of women who have broken the glass ceiling to reach the C-suite in the big financial companies.
In addition to Bessant, there is Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson; JPMorgan Consumer Lending Manager Marian Lake and CFO Jennifer Piepzak; and Alison Rose, CEO of the British bank NatWest.
Only 37 of the companies on this year’s Fortune 500 list are run by women.
Fraser started his career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS.N mergers and acquisitions department in London, then worked for Asesores Bursátiles in Madrid. She joined Citigroup 16 years ago and was credited internally to help the bank recover from the financial crisis, when it had to borrow $ 45 billion from taxpayers to survive. Over the years, she has managed a client strategy at Citi Investment Bank, as well as at her private bank, mortgage business and operations in Latin America, which account for 14% of annual revenue in 2019.
Her name was presented as a potential candidate for CEO of Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N last year, before the board stopped on former JPMorgan CEO Charles Scharf. In October, Fraser was promoted to president and assigned to head its global consumer bank, a move widely seen as a precursor to her rise.
Dylan Hagart, a partner in ValueAct Capital, which owns 27 million shares of Citigroup, said the hedge fund has worked closely with Fraser in recent years and has developed “an in-depth assessment of its ability to drive thoughtful strategic transformation and lead operational results.” “.
Credit Suisse analyst Susan Roth Katske said the promotion came earlier than expected and that investors were eager to get an audience with it. “Investors will have to hear more from Jane, sooner rather than later,” she said.
THE LEGACY OF THE BOAT
Korbat, who spent 37 years at Citigroup, was appointed CEO in 2012, when his predecessor abruptly left under pressure from investors. Since then, he has shifted Citigroup’s strategy to focus on corporate businesses where there are strengths, such as fixed income trading and cash management, as well as credit cards and digital banking.
He also liquidated a huge book of troubled assets known as Citi Holdings, effectively transforming the bank from a rescued, losing money-making venture with worldwide operations into a thinner, more profitable version with targeted global operations.
Citigroup’s annual profits have more than doubled than Corbat, but competing banks have done better. Only recently has Citigroup been able to meet the targets that Corbat has set and changed over the years.
His shares rose 43% during his tenure against 63% to 188% for Wall Street peers.
Report by C Nivedita and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; additional reports by David Henry in New York and Svea Herbst-Baileys in Boston; Writing by Anirban Sen and Lauren Tara LaCapra; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila and Nick Zieminski