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Jane Fraser, CEO Citigroup: Citi’s new Chief Executive Jane Fraser is the first female CEO of a major Wall Street bank. She is a leader who ‘gets stuff done.’

The selection of Jane Fraser as the first female CEO of a major Wall Street bank is a significant achievement. A personal one for Fraser, but a far larger one for women on Wall Street striving to break into traditionally male-dominated stepping-stone roles to CEO positions.

According to a report on gender parity in finance published in 2020 by consulting firm Oliver Wyman, women held only 6% of CEO roles at big financial organisations globally in 2019, a 2 percent decrease from 2016.

Fraser was named CEO of Citigroup in September and began her duties on March 1, 2021, making her the first woman to lead one of Wall Street’s four major banks, just as Women’s International Day was gaining traction.

Fraser made a public vow on her first day in office that Citigroup Inc. would achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Fraser has earned a reputation as a leader who ‘gets stuff done,’ which is not unexpected.

Fraser is a McKinsey consultant turned financial executive who has spent 16 years at Citi, most recently as President of Citi and CEO of the Global Consumer Bank. She is known for having a’solid track record’ and for being a ‘fixer,’ having worked her way through key Citi business units, leaving each in a better state than she found it.

Take, for example, Latin America. When Fraser took over as CEO of Citi’s Latin America division in 2015, the division had a bad reputation. Fraser turned the company around, not only increasing net income and profit, but also improving the work environment.

It’s no surprise that she’s been named American Banker’s ‘Number 1 Woman to Watch’ for the past two years, and that her name has been circulating top banking circles for the past year, with rumours circling that she’d been designated for senior positions at Wells Fargo and HSBC.

While her credentials (University of Cambridge, Goldman Sachs, Partner at McKinsey, MBA Harvard) and Wall Street reputation speak for themselves, it’s her ‘ferocious work ethic’ and unwillingness to sacrifice her personal life to get to the top that has struck a chord with many in the financial world. Women, in particular.

Let’s hope that her leadership of the world’s “most global bank” is not only a triumph for Fraser and Citi, but also a catalyst for gender equity in the banking industry.

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