POWERFUL WOMEN IN FINANCE
Industry Leaders|June 2021
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.
Anna Domanska

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.

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