Citi: The Importance Of Jane Fraser’s Promotion

By Amit Chowdhry ● November 6, 2019
  • Citigroup recently announced it promoted Jane Fraser to the number 2 position at the company. This puts her in a position to become the future CEO.

Citigroup Inc. recently promoted Jane Fraser to the number 2 position at the company. This essentially puts her in the position to succeed CEO Michael Corbat. And if that were to happen, then it would make Fraser the first woman to head a major U.S. bank.

Fraser is now the president of Citigroup and she will now oversee the consumer banking division. Corbat reportedly pushed to promote Fraser as her name was mentioned as a candidate for becoming the head of Wells Fargo or HSBC.

Citigroup’s former CEO of the Global Consumer Banking Stephen Bird was previously considered as a frontrunner for the CEO of the company. But Corbat announced Bird was leaving the company to pursue another opportunity outside of the company.

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Previously, Fraser oversaw Citi’s operations across Latin America. Fraser impressed employees in Latin America by speaking in fluent Spanish during her first town hall meeting.

Previously, Fraser oversaw Citi’s operations across Latin America. Fraser impressed employees in Latin America by speaking in fluent Spanish during her first town hall meeting.

“Jane has been at our firm for 15 years since she joined from McKinsey to run Client Strategy in the Corporate and Investment Bank. During the financial crisis, she led our Corporate Strategy and M&A group and, in many ways, Jane helped shape the company we are today. She subsequently ran two of our businesses, the Global Private Bank followed by U.S. Consumer and Commercial Banking & Mortgages,” said Corbat in a statement.

The banking industry has been under pressure to elevate women for executive positions. White men are currently running seven of the largest U.S. banks and they were questioned at a congressional hearing about why women have never been put in charge. At the hearing, Corbat indicated that he could be succeeded by a woman.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon restructured the company and put two women in positions that would be considered as potentially next in line for the chief executive position. Last year, Jennifer Piepszak was promoted to the CFO of JPMorgan and Marianne Lake was named as the CEO of the firm’s consumer lending service.

Fraser was born in Scotland and she received degrees from Cambridge University and Harvard Business School. After that, she spent a decade working at McKinsey & Co. And within 3 years, she was promoted to the global head of strategy for the company where she worked with former CEO Vikram Pandit. After that, Fraser became the head of Citigroup’s private bank in 2009 and then the CEO of the mortgage division in 2013. Under a year later, she was promoted to head the U.S. consumer and commercial banking businesses.

Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Susan Roth Katzke cited Fraser’s experience, track record, and intensity as the reason why this move will be well received by investors.

Ernesto Torres Cantu is succeeding Fraser as the CEO of the Latin American region. Cantu has been with Citi for about 30 years.

According to Catalyst, there are just 27 women CEOs in the S&P 500 — which is 5.4% of the companies. The list includes GM’s Mary Barra, Oracle’s Safra Catz, Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson, and IBM’s Ginny Rometty.