ANNE ACKERLEY Head of Retirement Group, BlackRock
In 2020, Anne Ackerley took a giant leap closer to her dream of ensuring a comfortable life after retirement for millions of Americans. She pulled the curtains off a BlackRock portfolio that emulated old-style defined benefits plans that pay out fixed retirement benefits.
For quite a long time, the BlackRock managing director and head of its retirement group has been working toward quelling a retirement crisis, and the move by companies from fixed pensions wasn’t making a difference. “By 2030, at least 70 million retirees will be living in poverty,” said Ackerley, who shows up on our list for the first time this year.
Also, she’s hopeful that there will be more women in the finance. “If we all got really focused, we could really get somewhere,” she says.
CATHERINE P. BESSANT Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Bank of America
Catherine P. Bessant has reinvigorated her team under the immense pressure brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic to meet an unprecedented demand for Bank of America’s services.
During two weeks in March of last year, the bank went from having a small percentage its employees working remotely to 85% or more doing so, Bessant recalled. In the meantime, customers’ use of the bank’s digital and electronic channels sped up across each line of business.
Impossible tasks aren’t new for Bessant, 60, who manages the bank’s technology and operations —including check processing and filling ATM machines—and a team of 95,000 workers and contractors in more than 35 nations.
THASUNDA BROWN DUCKETT
Incoming CEO, TIAA
Duckett, 47, will be heading the $1.3 trillion investment management fund. She is one of the few prominent black Fortune 500 CEOs on Wall Street.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Architects Pick Their Favorite Building Material
Henry Ford, the father of assembly-line manufacturing, had a saying: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”
POWERFUL WOMEN IN FINANCE
The coronavirus is not only a public health crisis of magnitude – it’s also a looming reshuffle of the global economic order. Leading through the pandemic and economic crisis is not a minor accomplishment, but the events of this past year haven’t stopped the 10 trailblazers who make up Industry Leaders’ Most Powerful Women in Finance list.
GERMANY ADOPTS NEW LAW TO HASTEN THE END OF COAL PLANTS
A new climate law adopted by Germany requires that all coal-fired power plants be shut down before the promulgated 2038 deadline. In January 2020, the German government had negotiated a deal worth €40 billion to phase out coal power by 2038, but now it seems the country is in a hurry to end its dependence on coal power due to urgent climate concerns.
IRS AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATING CRYPTO EXCHANGE BINANCE
Singapore-based Binance was co-founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, and is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is probing money laundering and tax-related offenses on the platform by any US citizen. They are investigating whether any illegal trading of derivatives linked to digital tokens was done. The United States residents can only purchase these kinds of products from firms registered with the CFTC.
GEN Z ANGELS
INVESTORS SEEM TO BE GETTING YOUNGER AND YOUNGER.
Biggest AI Talent Grab of the Year
In a post-COVID-19 world, the role of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) will be redefined. Companies striving to defend their existing markets and accelerate recovery are looking at a wide range of strategies such as alliances and partnerships. In addition, deal-makings now have to reflect the new environmental and societal priorities of the post-crisis world, which include making organic changes like going virtual, remote collaborations, and potentially less inperson networking.
PANDEMIC BRINGS GOOD SALES GROWTH FOR LUXURY CAR BRANDS
GOOGLE PLANS TO BUILD A COMMERCIAL QUANTUM COMPUTER BY 2029
Google is confident it can build a commercial-grade quantum computer by 2029. The search engine giant’s chief executive Sundar Pichai announced the plan to build a quantum computer during the Google I/O stream. To follow through on this ambitious journey is an important milestone in the form of a new Quantum AI campus in Santa Barbara, California, where Google engineers and scientists will be hard to work to build the world’s first commercial quantum computer.
BEYOND THE STARS
The dream of space tourism is alive and well.
2021 SEMICONDUCTOR CHIP SHORTAGE
The semiconductor chip shortage is far from over but this hasn’t stopped governments around the globe from getting creative to move production ahead. The impact of the chip crisis on the automotive market has been debilitating, resulting in competition between automakers and electronics manufacturers.
BEATS STUDIO BUDS ‘YEAR OF THE TIGER'
iPAD (9TH GEN) - BASICALLY THE SAME BUT STILL THE BEST
ANOTHER YEAR OF MODEST IMPROVEMENTS, BUT AT THIS PRICE THERE’S NO COMPETITION.
G-DRIVE ARMOR ATD HARD DRIVE: STYLE, TOUGHNESS, AND LOW COST PER GIGABYTE
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
CHIPOLO CARD SPOT
Soul S-Storm Max Bluetooth speaker: A lifestyle speaker that gets the job done
This portable, splash-proof music maker delivers a lot of volume for such a small device.
DALI Spektor 2 bookshelf speaker: A hi-fi experience in a small package
These versatile speakers sound great whether you use a stand or put them on a shelf.
Marshall Motif ANC true wireless headphone: Yet another hit
These active noise-canceling earbuds sound great out of the box and are highly configurable with numerous EQ presets.
Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack: Easy audio for budding broadcasters
This studio and podcast pack for new podcasters can shave time off productions.
Webkit team details Safari 15.2's expanded wide color gamut support
Apple’s browser now supports P3 for creating canvas contexts.