SOURCE: American Banker

American Banker

September 26, 2011 09:15 ET

American Banker Ranks the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance

Karen Peetz of BNY Mellon, Carrie Tolstedt of Wells Fargo & Co., and Ellen Costello of Harris Financial Top Exclusive Ranking

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 26, 2011) - American Banker has announced its 2011 ranking of the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance. The ninth-annual list -- along with probing features detailing women's progress in the industry and the challenges they continue to face -- will be included in a special edition of American Banker Magazine and published online at The honorees will be celebrated at an October 6th gala in New York City, featuring keynote speaker Arianna Huffington.

Highlights of this year's edition of the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance include:

  • A profile of Karen Peetz, this year's Most Powerful Woman in Banking, who -- as the first female Vice Chairman in BNY Mellon's 227-year history -- will help steer her company through an era of tremendous change.
  • An essay on the significance of KeyCorp's promotion of Beth Mooney, our No. 1 Woman to Watch and the first female CEO of a Top 20 U.S.-based bank.
  • An article examining the hidden workplace biases that continue to hold women back, and the steps that banks are taking to identify and minimize these barriers.

American Banker Magazine (formerly U.S. Banker) is the monthly publication of the American Banker Group, a unit of SourceMedia that also includes the daily newspaper American Banker, the monthly Bank Technology News, and the comprehensive website

The Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance recognizes the professional achievements, personal tenacity, and influence of the industry's top-performing female executives. The program encompasses four rankings: The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, The 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance, The 25 Women to Watch, and the Top Banking Teams. The rankings are available in their entirety at

"Open discrimination has become increasingly rare, thankfully, but hidden barriers to women's advancement in financial services remain," said Heather Landy, editor in chief of American Banker Magazine. "The women in our ranking have cleared the path to success for themselves and, importantly, for the women who will follow them. It is remarkable to think about how much progress has occurred in a single generation, since the time when many of the women in our ranking began their careers; and yet much work remains to be done."

For the first time, Karen Peetz, the first female Vice Chairman in BNY Mellon's 227-year history, was named the Most Powerful Woman in Banking. Peetz's numbers speak to her acumen -- her division generates more than 40 percent of BNY Mellon's revenue and manages one-third of the bank's 52,000 employees globally.

Known as a connector of people and ideas, Peetz also founded and continues to head the bank's popular Women's Initiatives Network.

In October's issue of American Banker Magazine, Peetz offers insight into her winning outlook: "You've got to get clear on what your goals are and how important are they to you," Peetz says. "You have to go for it. No one comes in with a silver platter."

Last year's No. 1, Carrie Tolstedt, Wells Fargo & Co.'s Senior EVP of Community Banking, follows Peetz in this year's rankings. Tolstedt's scope of management is impressive -- she oversees the largest retail deposit bank in the United States and a division with 120,000 employees. She also distinguished herself by achieving a retail bank cross-sell ratio of 5.8 products per household as of the first quarter, up from 5.6 a year earlier, with 7.4 percent net growth in consumer checking accounts over same period.

Harris Financial President and CEO Ellen Costello rounds out the top three in this year's ranking. Costello created the 12th-largest U.S. commercial bank by assets with the acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley Corp. She also became the U.S. country head for BMO Financial Group and led first-half deposit growth of 14% in the personal and commercial business. Costello also has received several community recognitions, including the Woman of Achievement by the Anti-Defamation League and Business Leader of the Year by the YWCA.

This year's rankings were determined by financial performance of each organization or woman-led division, combined with each nominee's job responsibility, management style, crisis management skills, influence within the industry and charitable endeavors.

Top 25 Women in Finance
For the fifth year, American Banker recognizes The 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance, the top performers in the securities, asset management, insurance, private equity and other non-bank finance businesses.

Topping this year's list is Abigail Johnson, President of Fidelity Investment Services. Widely considered to be the next in line for Fidelity's CEO spot, she continued to expand her influence within her organization last year by adding Fidelity's full spectrum of distribution channel management to her existing responsibilities.

Barclay's Vice Chair of Investment Banking Barbara Byrne and Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat follow Johnson on the list of Top 25 Women in Finance.

The October issue of American Banker Magazine also honors The 25 Women to Watch, which includes: Beth Mooney, Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp; Donna DeMaio, President, Chairman and CEO of MetLife Bank; Cece Stewart, President of U.S. Consumer and Commercial Banking at Citigroup; Diane Reyes, HSBC's new Global Head of Payments and Cash Management; and Patricia Callahan, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Wells Fargo.

Top Banking Teams
American Banker also recognized the Top Banking Teams, honoring Harris Bank, HSBC USA, Wells Fargo and Zions Bancorp for the contributions of their high percentage of female executives.

To determine rankings for the top banking teams, the magazine considered overall year-to-date financial performance of the company; the percentage of women corporate officers; the total percentage of senior women executives firm wide; the overall financial performance of women-led business units and functional areas; and growth-engine businesses led by women.

Awards Dinner in New York City, October 6
In conjunction with its published rankings, American Banker and SourceMedia will host an awards dinner celebrating honorees on October 6, 2011, at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Arianna Huffington, Editor in Chief, Huffington Post Media Group, AOL will keynote the event.

The evening also will honor departing JPMorgan Chase international chief Heidi Miller with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Miller has topped The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance annual ranking an impressive three times.

About American Banker and American Banker Magazine

American Banker ( is the banking industry's most powerful resource for news, analysis, opinion and perspective about financial institutions, regulation, risk management, bank technology and market trends.

American Banker Magazine is a monthly publication geared specifically toward bank executives and banking practitioners, reporting on the people, trends and data that are redefining the financial services landscape. Every issue includes briefings on developments from around the industry, data analysis pieces and a collection of feature stories on a wide array of topics affecting the industry.