Citigroup’s Fraser made first female boss of major Wall Street bank – The Independent

Scottish-born banker Jane Fraser has been appointed head of Citigroup, becoming the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank.  The 53-year, who enjoys a reputation as a straight talker, will replace Michael Corbat in February.  “I have worked with Jane for many years and am proud to have her succeed me,” Mr Corbat said in a statement. 

“With her leadership, experience and values, I know she will make an outstanding CEO.”  Ms Fraser’s elevation had reportedly been anticipated within the banking industry, given her status as a high-flyer who was appointed Citigroup’s president last year. Nevertheless, in an environment that has very few senior women executives, the announcement was widely celebrated. 

Citigroup also saw its share price rise one per cent as news spread.  “Great news for the company and for women everywhere,”  tweeted Bank of America Corp operations and technology chief Cathy Bessant.  “A big and fantastic moment.” 

Ms Fraser said in a statement: “I am honoured by the Board’s decision and grateful to Mike for his leadership and support. The way our team has come together during this pandemic shows what Citi is made of.” Ms Fraser, who was born in St Andrews and studied economics at Cambridge University, first worked at Goldman Sachs in London.

Later, she moved to the US and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School. The elevation of Ms Fraser, who is married with two sons, drew attention to the scarcity of women at the highest levels of the banking industry. In addition to Ms Bessant, there is Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson, JPMorgan’s consumer lending head Marianne Lake and its finance chief Jennifer Piepszak, and Alison Rose, CEO of British bank NatWest.

Ms Fraser joined Citigroup 16 years ago and is said to be credited internally with helping the bank recover after the financial crisis, when it had to take £45bn in taxpayer funds to survive.

During her career, she has run client strategy in Citi’s investment bank, as well as its private bank, its mortgage business and its operations in Latin America, which accounted for 14 per cent of annual revenue at the end of 2019. Her name was floated last year as a potential CEO candidate at Wells Fargo & Co, before the board settled on former JPMorgan executive Charles Scharf. In October, Ms Fraser was promoted to the role of president and tasked to head its global consumer bank, a move that was widely seen as a precursor to her elevation.

Additional reporting by agencies

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