(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc C.N Thursday named Jane Fraser as head of consumer banking as the next CEO, making her the first woman to head a major Wall Street bank.
Fraser, 53, has been a rising star in the financial sector, with a career spanning investment banking, wealth management, mortgage reduction and strategy in Latin America, a key geography for Citigroup. He will take over from CEO Michael Corbat in February, the bank said.
“Great news for the company and for women around the world!” tweeted Bank of America Corp BAC.N Cathy Bessant, chief of operations and technology. “A great and fantastic moment.”
On an internal note, Corbat defined Fraser’s new role as a groundbreaking event and a point of pride for Citigroup.
Fraser has spoken publicly about the struggles she faced as a young woman, and then as a working mother, in a competitive industry.
At the 2016 event hosted by an international business group, she described her early days as an investment banker, when women had to behave and dress like men to be successful, as well as her experience of juggling home and work life.
“I’m often asked, ‘Can you have it all? Can you do it all?'” He said at a 2016 event hosted by an international business firm. “And I say, ‘Yes, you can, but you can’t do everything at once and don’t expect everything at once.”
Fraser joins a small group of women who have broken through the glass ceiling to reach the C-suite of major financial firms.
In addition to Bessant, there is Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson; JPMorgan’s head of consumer credit Marianne Lake and her chief financial officer Jennifer Piepszak; and Alison Rose, CEO of the British bank NatWest.
Only 37 of the companies on this year’s Fortune 500 list are led by women.
Fraser launched his career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s GS.N mergers and acquisitions department in London, then worked for Asesores Bursátiles in Madrid. She joined Citigroup 16 years ago and is internally credited for helping the bank recover from the financial crisis, when it had to spend $ 45 billion in taxpayer funds to survive. Over the years, he has managed client strategy at Citi’s investment bank, as well as its private bank, mortgage business and Latin American operations, which accounted for 14% of annual revenue in 2019.
His name was launched as a potential CEO candidate at Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N last year, before the board established former JPMorgan executive Charles Scharf. In October, Fraser was promoted to the role of president and tasked with running his global consumer bank, a move that was widely regarded as a precursor to his elevation.
Dylan Haggart, partner of ValueAct Capital, which owns 27 million shares of Citigroup, said the hedge fund has worked closely with Fraser in recent years and has developed a “deep appreciation for his ability to lead a thoughtful transformation. strategic and drive operating results “.
Credit Suisse analyst Susan Roth Katzke said the promotion came earlier than expected and that investors are eager to have an audience with her. “Investors will need to hear more from Jane as soon as possible,” he said.
THE CORBAT HERITAGE
Corbat, who spent 37 years at Citigroup, was cast as CEO in 2012 when his predecessor was suddenly left under investor pressure. Since then, it has shifted Citigroup’s strategy to focus on business activities where it has strengths, such as fixed income trading and cash management, as well as credit cards and digital consumer banking.
It also liquidated a huge book of distressed assets known as Citi Holdings, effectively transforming the bank from a bailed out and money-wasting entity with worldwide operations to a leaner, more profitable version with targeted global operations.
Citigroup’s annual profits more than doubled under Corbat, but rival banks did better. Only recently has Citigroup been able to achieve the performance targets that Corbat has set and optimized over the years.
His shares rose 43% during his tenure, compared to 63% to 188% for Wall Street peers.
Reportage by C Nivedita and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; additional reportage by David Henry in New York and Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; Written by Anirban Sen and Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Nick Zieminski