Jane Fraser will be the next CEO of Citibank. She is the first woman chosen to be the CEO of a major money-centered bank. A remarkable accomplishment that is well overdue given the remarkable experiences she’s accrued over the course of her career
While we will all watch how she meets the challenges of banking in a pandemic and post-pandemic world, it is clear what has prepared her for this role.
Her portfolio of experiences.
As my co-author Michael Couch and I discuss in our Strategy-Driven Leadership book, leaders are made and not born and Ms. Fraser has been through the cauldron’s of experiences that could only have led to this path of success. Just to name a few:
*Ran the strategy group during the financial crisis making decisions about selling off under-performing assets
*Moved to St.Louis to run their mortgage business helping homeowners avoid foreclosures
*Led a turnaround on their private banking unit dealing with ultra wealthy individuals
*Moved to Mexico to help salvage Citi’s Latin American business
* Took over the Bank’s consumer services division
*Led the Bank’s Corona virus response.
Get the picture here…Ms Fraser took on challenges where she lacked the technical skills but where she possessed the leadership skills. On her assignment in Mexico, she not only had to address operational inefficiencies but she also had to overcome the male dominated culture which permeated that work group. She succeeded and that business unit found new profitability
Ms. Fraser encourages women to honor their strengths including collaboration and emotional intelligence, 2 capabilities that she says are often lacking in executive suites.
Citigroup did well to select Jane Fraser as the new CEO, primarily because she is a tried and true leader who understand the workings of the bank…because she has been there.
The lesson for aspiring leaders…get yourself in the cauldron